South Africa and Chile were the two main benefactors across all sectors of increased wine sales in the UK during 2003, while it appears that Germany and Portugal may have been the on the losing end.

The trend was due to range reductions in multiple grocers, according to Richard Halstead, MD of Wine Intelligence, who was this week attending Cape Wine 2004 in South Africa.

Halstead said that California seemed to be suffering in the on-trade, but was accelerating in the multiples, while Australia and New Zealand were also gaining across the board.

South African winemakers dedicated their lives to making good wine, but they had to understand that the same intellectual rigour needed to be applied to marketing their wines, Halstead added. He said that, just as with successful international products such as BMW and Nike, wineries needed to create a great product and a great brand.

Halstead warned local exporters of the woes expressed by UK wine buyers, predominantly that producers did not understand them and their agendas. They said that some companies also presented inappropriate wines and wanted to set up incomprehensible deals.

Other complaints included wines which were made available to competitors and conflicting sectors, while continuity requirements were not fulfilled.