Exports of South African bottled wine to the UK have shot up 33% so far this year compared to 2001, according to Wines of South Africa.

WOSA - which coordinates marketing strategies for all SA wine brands - said that although the UK was an intensely competitive market and the single largest destination for South African wines, “the market continued to offer extraordinary opportunities”.

WOSA chief executive Sue Birch said total exports were set to grow by at least 20% to over 139 million litres in 2002. And that by 2003 wine exports could reach the 200 million litre mark, compared to the 93 million litres volume achieved in 2000.

Sales to Holland have risen 22% for the first 10 months of this year. And Birch believed that other countries showing excellent potential for South African wine purchases included Sweden, Denmark and Germany, where sales are up 17% in 2002.