At the annual Australian Wine Grand Tastings last week in Seoul and Tokyo, Australian wines continued to catch the attention of South Korea and Japan’s most influential wine professionals.
A record attendance of 890 guests sipped and savoured Australian wines from over 34 regions, in addition to meeting talented winemakers and discovering not so familiar varieties and styles being produced in Australia.
Following on from the successful tasting, Wine Australia Head of Market, Asia Pacific Hiro Tejima said, ‘In collaboration with our partner Austrade, the Australian Wine Grand Tastings across these two key Northeast Asian markets are our flagship Australian wine events for the Japanese and South Korean wine community.‘We had yet another year record number of guests in both Seoul and Tokyo, and the sentiments from guests reflect a growing appreciation for fine Australian wine in both markets. We will keep sharing the message that Australian wine is of exceptional diversity and quality with our key Asian markets, ensuring Australian wine is top of mind with the region’s increasingly sophisticated wine consumers’.
In addition, Amanda Hodges, Senior Trade and Investment Commissioner, Austrade Korea said, ‘This is the third year we have collaborated with Wine Australia to host this event, which is the biggest tasting of Australian wine in South Korea.‘Koreans continue to appreciate Australian Shiraz, the most exported Australian wine variety, however, there’s also increasing demand for Australian Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay and Merlot.’
Julianne Merriman, Trade Commissioner, Austrade Japan and leader of Austrade’s Food, Beverage and Agribusiness team across Japan said ‘It’s impressive to have such a strong turnout of premium Australian wine brands on display in Japan and to see the positive and growing interest by astute and sophisticated Japanese wine industry decision makers in the Australian wine category.
‘The combination of the Japan–Australia Economic Partnership Agreement tariff reduction benefits, a favourable exchange rate and the increased openness and curiosity of Japanese consumers to discover and embrace new wines from around the world is highly advantageous to Australian wine exporters. Australian wines are well positioned in this savvy consumer market and key events like the Australian Grand Wine Tasting have significant positive impact on market perceptions.’
Australian wine exports to Japan increased by 4 per cent to $44.7 million in 2015–16. The top varieties exported to Japan are Shiraz, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Semillon and Pinot Noir.