Cape Town - The Western Cape department of agriculture, together with Wines of South Africa, recently hosted the second Beijing Wine Tasting in China.
This year 16 wine companies exhibiting more than 250 South African wines. The event was attended by Chinese wine importers, the Chinese wine press, and local wine enthusiasts.
Gerrit van Rensburg, Western Cape Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development and Michaela Stander, told visitors South Africa is unique amongst wine producing countries due to our ability to guarantee the origin of each bottle of wine back to the vineyard where the grapes were harvested.
Stander said South Africa produces roughly 800m litres of wine per year, of which approximately 50% is exported.
In terms of global production SA is the 8th largest producer with approximately 102 000 hectares of vineyard.
South Africa represents 3% of global wine trade in terms of volume and 6% in terms of value.
South Africa's largest export markets are the UK, Germany, Sweden and the Netherlands with the USA and China becoming increasingly important.
China currently represents approximately 3% of SA's total exports. SA currently has less than 3% market share in China, which represents an excellent opportunity for future export growth.
South African wine exports to China have experienced good growth in both bulk and packaged product, growing approximately 32% over the past four years.
Since 2011 China entered SA's list of top ten export destinations for packaged wine exports.
Figures for the first five months of 2013 already show a 53% increase for total exports, compared to the same period last year.
What is especially important is that the growth has been predominantly in packaged exports, which showed a 40% increase over the same period.
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