The trade organisation for South Africa's wine industry has announced the launch of a bus-led consumer marketing campaign in the UK.

Wines of South Africa (WoSA) said today (31 March) that 'The Great South African Wine Trail', the centre piece of which is a carbon neutral, branded double-decker bus, will begin an eight-city tour of the UK in May.

The tour will feature a cellar door, gardens of South African fynbos plants, grape vines and several South African winemakers. Consumers will be invited to sample South African wines, while learning about the conservation initiatives in the Cape. Winemakers on the tour will also be introduced to local media.

"The aim of the campaign is to ... allow [UK wine drinkers] to taste the wide variety of wines the Cape has to offer, while developing a better understanding of the commitment the South African wine industry has to protecting the natural environment in which it grows wine - in particular to protecting and restoring the Cape Floral Kingdom," said Jo Mason, UK market manager for WOSA.

"We expect The Great South African Wine Trail to reach over 1m consumers, through PR and events."

The departure will coincide with this year's London International Wine Fair (LIWF), and will depart ExCel - the location for the LIWF - on 13 May. After London, the campaign will visit eight cities, including Edinburgh, Leeds and Birmingham, before returning to London on 2 June.

The South African wine category in the UK rose by 23.6% in value and 22% in volume during 2008, according to Arniston Bay owner The Company of Wine People, citing Nielsen figures.