The final whistle for the last match of the 2010 FIFA World Cup tournament here in South Africa is just days from being blown, but the country’s wine industry hopes to score some major goals in the international community for a long time to come.

Supermarket.co.za reports that local wine makers are hoping that the country’s profile, newly raised due to all the positive global coverage it has received for successfully hosting the biggest sporting event in the world, will spill over to the global market and lead to an increase in South African wine sales internationally.

The economic slump caused by the recession drove many South African wine consumers to buy cheaper wines and it was mostly international exports that kept the local wine industry afloat. The tide has already changed though, with some wine farms in the Western Cape – which forms the hub of South African wine-making – reportedly already having seen a spike in sales during the World Cup kickoff in June.

Industry members are hoping that this momentum will last and believe that the soccer tournament provided the country with the perfect opportunity to dispel international perceptions that the country’s wines are “cheap and cheerful”.

The Supermarket.co.za article states that South Africa, following its new image makeover, will hopefully attract international buyers willing to pay “more realistic” prices than the current low rates that enable them to charge only £3.99 per bottle – which is what South African wine usually goes for when it is resold in the UK.