Distell is to launch its Nederburg wines on the Chinese and Indian markets.

Though operating from a small base, the Asia-Pacific markets have grown by 42% for the 12-month period ending August 2003 for the brand. Nederburg was also South Africa's biggest export brand into Australasia.

Both China and India have been identified as having high growth potential, and the first consignment of wine to India is on the water while a Chinese shipment is due to leave within the next month.

With the move into China and India, growth to the Asia-Pacific region was expected to accelerate at an even faster pace in the next year, said Don Gallow, group general manager: international.

Nederburg was continuing to build on the solid growth achieved in Japan, its biggest market in Asia. The brand has also started making inroads into South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, the Philippines, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Vietnam and the Maldives.