Its performance takes the country from 10.4% of the off-trade market to 12.3% in the year to December 26, 2009.
The South African category also grew 24% by value and 23% by volume in the same period.
“South Africa’s market share is now only 0.1% behind France, which is in decline, falling to 12.4% by volume,” said generic body Wines of South Africa.
Exports to the UK were up 14% by volume. This growth maintains the UK’s position as the leading export market for the South African wine industry, accounting for 32% of total global exports.
“Success from South Africa’s top brands helped to drive the category,” WOSA added. “Sales of First Cape, the number one South African brand in the UK, saw increases of 73% by value and almost 80% by volume. Other leading South African brands, including Kumala, Arniston Bay, Two Oceans and KWV, enjoyed exceptional growth in 2009.”
The figures also show that growth in the South African wine category is not exclusively at the lower end of the market, with a 15% uplift in value sales of wines above £5, a 27% increase in wines above £7 and 43% increase in wines above £10.