South African drinks group Distell has secured a key wine deal with Scandinavian distributor Altia Corporation.

Distell, which owns wine labels including Nederburg and Two Oceans, said it has become the exclusive supplier of South African wine to the distributor. Altia, which is based in Finland, has operations across the Nordic region, as well as in the emerging Baltic markets. The distributor already handles Distell's cream liqueur brand Amarula.

Distell said there is "robust demand" for South African wine in Nordic and Baltic markets. The company said its stable of wines already has a strong presence in Sweden, Norway and Finland.

Demand in the region is in contrast to the UK, where South African sales have slumped 11% due to the strong rand.

Distell's international director Don Gallow said: "Altia plans to expand its leadership position in the Nordic states to the Baltic countries.  This gives us every confidence in the future of our relationship."

Altia CEO Leena Saarinen added: "This is a step towards Altia's vision to become the leading alcohol beverage company in the Nordic and Baltic region building on unique consumer knowledge and local companies."

Earlier this year, Distell set out its stall to become the "reference South African wine business in Europe" with the expansion of its office in the UK.

The wine and spirits group has this year opened larger offices in Middlesex and seen the first fruits of a recently signed distribution deal with Waverley TBS with a listing in UK retailer Waitrose.