Wines of South Africa (WOSA) is planning to bring wine journalists to South Africa during the 2010 World Cup, to enjoy the soccer and wine feast the country has to offer next year, reports Cape Business News.

Su Birch, CEO of WOSA, said that many wine producers are planning to bring European importers to the country for the top soccer event, and have designed incentive programs.   “Our intention is to ensure visiting foreign trade and media are exposed to our producers and activities in the winelands while they are here.   We’ll give them a taste of true South African hospitality for which we have become famous.   They’ll experience the spontaneous African warmth and excitement surrounding the games and get to taste our wines in a new context” she said.

Given the 2010 World Cup focus, WOSA will not be putting on Cape Wine in 2010, and will next host it in 2012.

Birch recently received the honour of being named “Woman of the Year” by The Drinks Business, a British journal, “for her role in the enormous advances made by the South African wine industry on international markets over the past decade.”  South African wine exports have grown three-fold in the past ten years.

South Africa is the ninth largest producer of wines, and represents 3 % of total world wine production.  Currently just over 400 million liters are exported from South Africa, a growth of 17 % compared to the year before.  Sales have grown by 27 % to the UK, by 12 % to Germany, and by 26 % to Sweden, the top three South African export markets.