South Africa is the fastest growing category in the UK off-trade wine market, according to latest data from Nielsen.

Wines from South Africa grew by 13% by volume, against a total market growth of 1.1%. South Africa’s value sales also grew by 13%. South Africa’s current market share is 9.1% percent by volume and it is the fifth largest producer country in the UK market.

Global exports of South African wine are up 31% by volume from January to July 2008, when compared to the same period in 2007. The UK, South Africa’s number one export market, has seen an increase of 26% during this period, giving the UK a 27% share all South African wine exports.

Jo Mason, UK market manger, Wines of South Africa, said: “It is fantastic to see South Africa performing so well in one of its most established export markets. The country enjoys an enviable image in the minds of UK consumers and the quality and value for money the country offers is clearly having an impact.

“The major South African brands have been successful this year, Kumala is back in growth, Namaqua and First Cape have delivered excellent results and Arniston Bay has also put in a strong performance,” she said.

“In addition we are selling more wines above £5, as South Africa is increasingly viewed as a producer of premium wines with distinctive regional characteristics.”