Nielsen figures for the year to January 23 show South Africa’s sales sneaking 4,000 cases ahead of France, with both shipping just under 12.3 million cases.
South Africa takes fourth place behind Australia, the US and Italy for volume.
But France retains third place for value sales, with Italy and South Africa in fourth and fifth position.
South Africa’s surge is largely due to a virtual doubling in sales of First Cape.
The brand is now the third biggest in volume in the off-trade, accounting for around one in four bottles of South African wine sold.