Monthly Archives: April 2010

SA overtakes France in UK wine sales

29 March 2010

South African wine sales in the UK have overtaken those of France for the first time, according to the latest figures from market analysts AC Nielsen.

South African wine sales grew 20% by volume between January 2009 and January 2010 to 12 270 000 nine-litre cases, compared to a decline in French wine sales of 12%, to 12 266 000 nine-litre cases; growth that also saw South Africa becoming the fourth-largest selling country for wine in the UK.

“This is a momentous occasion for the South African wine industry, which is relatively young in terms of the global export market,” Wines of South Africa UK market manager Jo Mason said in a statement last week.

“In 1994 our producers wouldn’t have dreamt of selling more wine to the UK than France, but now the wine landscape has changed completely.”

‘Up there with the best’

Although the South African wine industry is over 350 years old, it is recently that the country’s exports have seen significant growth. In 1994, the industry exported around 50-million litres of wine globally; by the close of 2009, exports had increased eightfold, reaching almost 400-million litres.

Mason pointed out that UK consumers no longer “defaulted” to European wine, and that the quality of wine from South Africa was up there with the best in the world.

“This achievement has coincided with a year where South Africa is thrust into the spotlight as host nation for the [2010 Fifa World Cup], which should ensure continued success for our wines, as visitors flock to the Cape or crack open a bottle while watching the game.”

SAinfo reporter

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South African Art continued its march onto the world stage

South African Art continued its march onto the world stage as a newly appreciated art form and investment at Bonhams seventh sale of South African Art in London on Wednesday.

“Works by Jacob Hendrik Pierneef, Gerard Sekoto and Maggie Laubser all beat their pre-sale estimates,” Bonhams said in a statement. “The top-priced work in the sale was by Pierneef, titled ‘An Extensive View of Farmlands’, which sold for £356 000 (R3.9-million) against an estimate of £120 000 to £180 000.”

The sale’s catalogue cover lot by Gerard Sekoto, “Market Street Scene, Cape Town,” sold for £192 000 (R2.1-million) against a pre-sale estimate of £120 000 to £180 000. And a Maggie Laubser, “Woman Wearing a Red Doek”, estimated at £20 000 to £30 000 sold for £50 400 (R554 000).

“Once again we have been delighted by the response from buyers,” Giles Peppiatt, director of South African art at Bonhams, said after the sale. “You would not have known in the saleroom today that we are cautiously emerging from the worst recession in 80 years. The mood was buoyant, the bidding brisk and the prices excellent.

“After five years of selling South African art, I feel that this is not a blip or a fashion but the start of a long march to real international recognition and appreciation of this vibrant art from the tip of Africa,” Peppiatt said.

SAinfo reporter