The acceptance of Cape Town in the Great Wine Capitals Global Network Charter is a further boost to its adjoining winelands, which last year generated tourism related earnings of R3.5 billion (US$434m).

At a ceremony in Oporto in Portugal, this week, Cape Town joined six other cities on four continents to promote mutual economic, cultural and intellectual ties, as well as to boost city as a wine-tourism centre.

Su Birch CEO of Wines of South Africa (WOSA) said research by Wesgro, a locally based organisation involved in developing direct investment trade to the Western Cape indicated that earnings in the wine-tourism sector was set to grow dramatically.

The GWCGNC was established in at Vinexpo in 1999, but Cape Town could not join then for internal structural reasons, which had now been finalised. The other cities that form part of the organisation are Bordeaux, Melbourne, Santiago, San Francisco, Florence and Oporto.