South Africa is looking to the arrival of the football World Cup tournament in 2010 to act as a major driver for the profile of its wine industry.

The four-week sporting event, which comes to Africa for the first time in two years time, will run across June and July.

Speaking to just-drinks at the Cape Wine trade fair last week, Loraine Gerrans, manager of 'Green Goal' for Fifa in Cape Town, said: "The opportunity the World Cup offers us is to showcase our city to the international media and spectators watching on TV, and the exposure the event affords our region to an audience that might go home and talk about their experience here and visit us again and again."

Around 350,000 additional visitors are expected to converge on Cape Town, the centre of South Africa's wine industry, during the World Cup, Gerrans added.

"Maybe football and wine don't necessarily go together, but FIFA has signed up Distel's Nederburg wine brand as their official wine supplier for 2010," Gerrans continued.

"Wine is an important part of South African culture and, especially in the Western Cape, wine is one of our key economic drivers, both from a commodity and from a tourism perspective. Therefore, we as a host city associate strongly with wine in our region because it is such a strong part of our identity here."