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South African Wine Industry Optimistic

Following a few very tough years, the South African wine industry is being buoyed by a new sense of optimism on the back of record export levels, the likelihood of one of the best harvests this year, the penetration of new markets and growing praise from some of the wine world's most influential opinion formers. Su Birch, CEO of Wines of South Africa (WOSA), confirmed that exports for 2012 had reached 417 million liters, 10 million liters more than the previous record of 407 million liters achieved in 2008 and a 17 percent increase on volumes in 2011. "The record levels are the result of a more favorable currency, as well as the global shortage of wines, stemming from a significant drop in the recent harvests of competitor wine-producing nations in Europe, Latin America, Australia and New Zealand.