Vincor intends launchings its Western Wines acquired Cape wine range, Kumala, into the US market in autumn. This forms part of the Canadian-based wine company's strategy of developing the Kumala range in North America.

Kumala, South Africa's largest selling wine brand in the UK, is expected to retail around US$8.99 and will initially include a 2004 Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Shiraz and a Chardonnay.

Vincor USA president, Mike Jaeger, said in Esparto, California: "I think people are ready for something fresh, and South Africa is certainly something that many US wine drinkers haven't experienced before.

"There is a lot of opportunity here. As we've seen with Australian and New Zealand wines, the UK historically leads the US with wine trends."

Vincor, which trades on the Toronto Stock Exchange, has vineyards in various provinces in Canada, as well as in the US, Australia, New Zealand and now South Africa, having acquired the Kumala brand when it bought UK wine importer Western Wines last year.

James Reid, local operations director in South Africa said Vincor was looking to expand its operations in Canada nationally. At present it was marketed in Ontario and British Columbia. The company was working on getting listings with the liquor boards in the other provinces, as well introducing its Reserve range into Ontario and British Columbia.