For the first time, the British are drinking more South African wine than French, the latest figures show.
Sales of South African wine grew 20% by volume to 12.27m cases in the 12-month period ending 23 January this year, according to AC Nielsen.
This is compared to a 12% decline in French wine sales to 12.26m cases.
South Africa is now fourth in wine by volume sales in the UK, behind Australia, California and Italy.
‘In 1994 our producers wouldn’t have dreamt of selling more wine to the UK than France’, said Jo Mason, UK market manager for Wines of South Africa.
‘The wine landscape has changed completely and the quality of wine from South Africa is up there with the best in the world.’
In 2009, global exports of South African wine reached nearly 400m litres.
Written by Lucy Shaw