South African Breweries should look at its own shortcomings regarding its financial woes, rather than continuously point fingers at the Cape's wine producers.

Wine producer organisation, VinPro, is strongly against SAB's claims that a "wine lake" of cheap wine on the domestic market was one of the main problems for the slump in its domestic beer sales.

These claims were made in SAB's annual report, released simultaneously in Johannesburg and London today.

Theo Pegel, Executive Director of VinPro, said today that it was ridiculous to think that wine was responsible for a downswing in beer sales.

Statistics for last year showed that beer made up 44.9% of all alcohol consumed in the country, traditional sorgum beer made up another 23.1%, while natural wine comprised 16.3%, fortified wine 2.1% and sparkling wine 0.2%. Brandy made 6.3% of alcohol consumed and other spirits the remaining 7.1%, he said.

In terms of total litres consumed, wine had an even smaller market share, according to Pegel.

"Last year 2.29 billion litres of beer were consumed in South Africa, while only 351 million litres of wine were enjoyed, a mere 15% of beer sales," he said.

"At the end of the day, SAB, which has a 97% slice of the beer market in this country must accept that they have grown their market share of the entire liquor market considerably over the past 20 years. It is now experiencing a bit of shrinkage and they should not blame wine for this - we have never blamed them for our problems,"

An irony, which has not escaped the liquor industry, is that SAB holds a 30% share in Distell, the biggest wine and brandy producer in the country.