To read the full version of this content please select one of the options below:

Climate change and the future of South Africa's wine industry

Nick Vink (Department of Agricultural Economics, Stellenbosch University, Stellenbosch, South Africa)
Alain Deloire (Viticulture and Oenology, Stellenbosch University, Stellenbosch, South Africa)
Valerie Bonnardot (COSTEL Laboratory, Rennes University, Rennes, France)
Joachim Ewert (Sociology and Social Anthropology, Stellenbosch University, Stellenbosch, South Africa)

International Journal of Climate Change Strategies and Management

ISSN: 1756-8692

Article publication date: 2 November 2012

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this article is to attempt to synthesise the lessons from at least four different ways of looking at the South Africa wine industry: economics, climatology, viticulture, and the sociology of work.

Design/methodology/approach

The economic performance of South Africa's wine industry since democratisation in the early 1990s is reviewed, as is the effect of climate change on the industry. This is followed by an assessment of possible strategies for building international competitiveness whilst simultaneously coping with the effects of climate change.

Findings

While industry systems should allow the marketing of speciality wines (e.g. from a single vineyard, from a single estate), this is not a viable strategy for most wine producers. Furthermore, climate change will lead to volatility in the characteristics that identify different terroirs.

Practical implications

Industry strategies should rather focus on the benefits of diversity, but with a range of adaptations that will also result in better quality wines. These encompass quality; geographic location; viticultural practices; the style of wines and the renewal of skills. In synthesising this argument, the authors then consider whether such a strategy could enhance or hinder greater international competitiveness for the industry.

Originality/value

The results can be taken into consideration by policy makers and industry stakeholders in designing future strategies.

Keywords

Citation

Vink, N., Deloire, A., Bonnardot, V. and Ewert, J. (2012), "Climate change and the future of South Africa's wine industry", International Journal of Climate Change Strategies and Management, Vol. 4 No. 4, pp. 420-441. https://doi.org/10.1108/17568691211277746

Publisher

:

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2012, Emerald Group Publishing Limited