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Study Cards on cape, south, benguela

What sort of climate does South Africa (Western Cape) have?
a warm Mediterranean climate with warm summers from November to April.
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What is the Cape Doctor and why has it this name
The Cape Doctor is a south-easterly wind during spring and summer which extends the impact of the coole Benguela current from the South Pole.

As a doctor it inhibits diseases and and brings some occasional rain the the South Coast.
However it can damage leaves > affects photosyntheses -ripeness-affect flowering process > reducing yields.
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What is The Benguela current in South Africa, and how does it influence the grape growing environment and climate?
  • The main cooling influence is the cold north-flowing Benguela current from the South Pole, and it mingles with the warmer Agulhas current from the Indian Ocean lowering water temperatures between Cape Town and Cape Agulhas.
  • The large difference in temperature between the ocean and the land causes regular beneficial coastal fog and cooling breezes.
  • Rain falls mainly between May and August. In the north of the Western Cape it is reduced due to the decrease in the impact of the Benguela current and mountain protection along the coast line.
  • Irrigation or old vines therefore essential in the drier areas.
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Is lack of water a problem in South Africa
There is adequate rainfall between May-August (> 700mm/y in Stellenbosch) in the coastal areas.

In the north of the Western Cape however it reduces due to the decrease of the impact of the Benguela current and the protection of the mountains that follow the coastline.
> drip irrigation - dry farming  (e.g. Swartland)
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What is the Cape Doctor and how does it influence the growing environment? What are the advantages and disadvantages?
  • South easterly wind during spring and summer, good against diseases and brings occasional rain.
  • It extends the impact of the Benguela current.
  • Can damage leaves -> photosynthesis and ripeness impact, flowering and berry set, reducing yields.
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What is the climate in South Africa
  • Warm Mediterranean climate (latitude 33-35 as California)
  • but > various growing regions influenced by
    • Western Cape's many mountain ranges, slopes, aspects
    • cooling influence by proximity to the ocean
      • Pinot noir in coolest sites, Syrah/Tinta Barocca in hotter sites
    • main cooling influence:
      • north-flowing Benguela current from the South Pole mingling with the warmer Mozambique current from the Indian Ocean > lowering water temperatures between Cape Town and Cape Agulhas
        • > large difference land-ocean temperatures
          • > beneficial coastal fog and cooling breezes
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What are the hazards in South African climate/ growing environment? (3)
  • Spring frost (particularly in Breedekloof)
  • Lack of winter frees (no rest for the vines in winter)
  • Drought, lack of water --> move to dry farming (Swartland) irrigation and old vines
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