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The South African wine industry set an exceptional export record of nearly 526 million litres last year.

This was largely due to the country's bumper harvest in 2013, which allowed SA to fill the gap created by the poor European harvest, said Siobhan Thompson, CEO of Wines of South Africa.

Export volumes increased by 26% to 525,7 million litres in 2013 compared to 2012. Sales to the UK rose 21% to 111,2 million litres, while volumes to Germany increased by 24% to 96,5 million litres. Exports to Russia were up 18% at 37,3 million litres.

"It’s encouraging that strong gains were achieved in the UK and Germany, our two biggest markets, where packaged wines in particular showed very healthy growth” said Thompson.

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