The South African wine industry is stepping out on an untested limb with its inaugural Mega Tasting in London next week. It will cost Wines of South Africa and the 282 participating producers an estimated ZAR8m to ZAR9m (US$1.27m to US$1.43m) to stage the Pan-European tasting at Billingsgate Market on 11 and 12 September.

The organisation is hoping to attract 20% more members of the UK trade and media compared to the 1,000 who attended the annual WOSA tasting, as well as about 500 trade and media from Europe.

WOSA CEO, Su Birch said that the organisation also received applications to attend from Ghana, India, the US and Australia.

"We are breaking new ground and so far everything has gone very well - we are taking these tastings to a new level and it is an exciting new marketing effort.

"The wineries are being grouped according to region and we are highlighting the biodiversity of the Cape, which is the smallest but one of the most diverse floral kingdoms in the world.

"This is also a serious step forward for 'Brand South Africa' and every producer has been eager to be part of the effort," Birch said.