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Austrian Tasting Tokyo: Enthusiasm for Austrian wine in Japan

On 1 July, the Austrian Wine Marketing Board (AWMB) presented the hitherto biggest Austrian Tasting in Japan with winegrower participation. Some 900 visitors accepted the invitation to the Shangri-La Hotel Tokyo, creating an overwhelmingly positive atmosphere for the growers on hand. Top-drawer side events offered the perfect complement to the Austrian Tasting in Tokyo.

A picture shows the audience of the Austrian Tasting Tokyo in the Shangri-La Hotel, © AWMB
Austrian Tasting Tokio in the Shangri-La Hotel, © AWMB

Japan: export market potential

For many years, the AWMB has been working toward the gradual and steady development of the Japanese export market with targeted measures such as media, sommelier and merchant outreach, as well as events in various formats. In 2018, some 139,000 litres of Austrian wine worth 1.1 million Euros were exported to the Land of the Rising Sun, with the average price standing at a respectable 7.95 €/litre. This corresponds to an increase of 2.2% in export volume and 11.8% in export value over 2017. However, experts are predicting greater potential in the Japanese market.

In order to generate additional impetus for Austrian wine in the island nation (with its population of circa 127 million) the AWMB, in cooperation with the Austrian Commercial Embassy in Tokyo, hosted the most comprehensive Austrian Tasting to date with personal winegrower participation in the capital of Japan on 1 July.

Austrian winegrowers pleased with great interest of the attendees

Fifty Austrian winegrowers travelled to the Asian metropolis to present their wines in the impressive ambience of the Shangri-La Hotel to a total of over 600 trade visitors and nearly 300 consumers. For thirty-one so far unrepresented estates – the so-called ‘New Faces’ – the Austrian Tasting offered the opportunity to make initial merchant contacts in the highly competitive market. The Austrian growers present were supported by twenty-one importers who presented additional Austrian wines for tasting. All in all, the public enjoyed the opportunity to sample some 400 wines from 122 Austrian producers.

Seminars a complete success

Along with visiting the tasting booths, trade attendees were able to deepen their knowledge of Austrian wine in five themed seminars that accompanied the tasting. Accomplished speakers presented, for instance, selected wines from the ‘New Faces’, or demonstrated the excellent suitability of Austrian wines for complementing Japanese cuisine.

‘Japan's wine experts are very interested in Austrian wine’, says Noriko Matsumoto of the Austrian Commercial Embassy in Tokyo. ‘All of the seminars were totally booked in advance, and the feedback from the participants was entirely positive’.

Press conference & market research

On 2 July, the AWMB organised a press conference at the residence of the Austrian Ambassador in Tokyo, attended by journalists, winegrowers and importers. Departing AWMB managing director Willi Klinger took the opportunity to bid a fond farewell to the Japanese audience and to honour a number of Japanese wine experts, who have championed wine from Austria as ‘Austrian Wine Ambassadors’ in recent years.

The conclusion of the two-day visit to Japan took the form of a tour through the most important retail stores and prestigious wine bars, which many winegrowers used for detailed research in prevailing market conditions in Tokyo. In combination with the experience gained from the tasting, they were able to collect valuable information on popular wine styles, current bottle designs and product presentations, as well as catching up on the local perception of specific product groups, such as organic wine.

Klinger sums it up

Outgoing AWMB managing director Willi Klinger was extremely pleased with Austria’s two-day performance in Japan, saying: ‘In my final year at the helm of the AWMB, I am particularly pleased with the spectacular success of the Austrian Tasting Tokyo, as I’ve always been convinced that the Japanese market offers greater untapped potential for Austria’.

Facts

Austrian Tasting Tokyo 2019
 
  • Up till now, the largest Austrian Tasting in Japan with grower participation
 
 
  • 50 winegrowers in person, of which 31 were previously without a market presence (‘New Faces’)
 
 
  • 21 additional importers presented their Austrian wines
 
 
  • Some 400 Austrian wines from 122 producers for tasting in total
 
 
  • 5 themed seminars for continuing education, including:
    • ‘New Faces of Austria’
    • ‘Japanese cuisine & Austrian wine’
 
 
  • Over 600 trade visitors, almost 300 consumers
 

 

Downloads

Press photo

Tasting List

Link

Details and photos of the event

Press release

Austrian Wine Marketing Board

Ms Sabine Bauer-Wolf
Weinakademikerin
Division Manager Communication

Mr Georg Schullian
Head of Department Press, PR & Corporate Design

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