Austrian Tasting Tokyo: Enthusiasm for Austrian wine in Japan
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’.
|Austrian Tasting Tokyo 2019|
Austrian Wine Marketing Board
Ms Sabine Bauer-Wolf
Division Manager Communication
Mr Georg Schullian
Head of Department Press, PR & Corporate Design