Strong growth in the Netherlands, Germany and Scandinavia helped drive growth in South African bottled wine by 13% for the 12 months to December 2000, Wines of South Africa (WOSA) said yesterday.

WOSA CEO Su Birch said recent statistics were most encouraging. Figures show that the proportion of bottled wine exports to bulk wine shipments was growing with bottled wine now representing 66% of total overseas sales.

Birch said: "This trend reflects a strengthening of our international quality positioning, which we are fighting hard to advance in the face of aggressive competition from other New World producers."

In keeping with world trends, sales of bottled red were higher than sales of white, while the UK remained the country's largest market with 40% of total export sales.