Johannesburg – Stellenbosch's 4th Street wine brand, which is owned by Distell, is ranked the top growing internationally for 2015, according to the International Wine and Spirit Research (IWSR) report.
The IWSR report, released at the end of 2016, takes an overall market outlook across different channels and borders to compile its rankings.
Among the factors contributing to the growth of Distell’s 4th Street is its appeal to millennials especially young women, the report stated.
The brand is currently available within Africa and the majority of volumes sold were in South Africa.
Just over 5m cases, of 9 litres, were sold in 2015. This is 3m more than those sold in 2014.
The wine was originally launched in 2009 as a natural sweet rosé and in 2011 it expanded its offering to include natural sweet red and natural sweet white wine.
The brand is “spearheading” a trend of natural sweets among consumers, especially those in urban townships and student campuses.
“Distell is likely to build on this in the years to come,” the report stated.
When 4th Street was first launched, the brand focussed on targeting new wine drinkers, explained Eliska Botha, global marketing manager.
“These millennials are shaping the market currently and we were able to cut through the beer-dominated South African landscape.”
However the report indicated that global wine consumption was impacted by the fickle preferences of millennials.
The industry faces competition from sweet ciders and craft beer.
READ: World wine output near 20-year low
Top 100 list
The 4th Street wine was also positioned 29th overall in the world top 100 list, for 2015. Other local brands which made the top 50 include Raisin Social’s Namaqua, at 35. Distell’s Paarl Perle made the list at 47 and Robertson was ranked 49.
Those in the top 100 include Distell wines Autumn Harvest at 54 and Drostdy-Hof at 86.Read Fin24's top stories trending on Twitter: