Croatian Wine Enters Japanese Market

By 24 February 2016

More global expansion for Croatia's wine trade.

It is nothing new to anyone who has spent any time in Croatia, let alone lives here, that the Japanese tourists are among the most enthusiastic that visit, and if I may say so, it's no secret that they like to spend money on Croatian products, including the famous Kras chocolate and olive oil. It is therefore, no real surprise that Croatian wine has become a hit in Japan.

Four Croatian wineries (Vina Belje, PP Orahovica, Zlatan Otok and Kraljevski Vinogradi) presented their wines at Japan’s largest trade fair on February 24, 2016. It is estimated that a staggering 364 million litres of wine are consumed annually in Japan, with very many European imports being among the most sought after on the market.

Japan's love of wine, and seemingly European wine, is a shining beacon of opportunity for Croatia to present its impressive selection of wine to a huge market of over 130 million people. The people responsible for buying and importing who turned up at the trade fair were very happy with the selection of wine showcased by Croatia. One of main distributors, Fuji Trading, have already said that they will increase their imports of Croatian wines this year.

“Croatian wines in Japan are still not that well-known, and currently only rather small quantities are imported. But, the reaction of buyers is very positive, and that is why we are planning to attend all the important wine trade fairs in Japan and conduct tastings with Croatian wines 3-4 times per year.” stated the director of Fuji Trading, Tsuneharu Hiyoshi.

PP Orahovica have said that the demand for importation of their wines to Japan has doubled from last year and they anticipate good growth this year. Kraljevski Vinogradi presented their famed Dalmatian varieties Pošip, Plavac Mali and Crljenak at the show in Japan.

Drazen Hrastic, The Croatian Ambassador to Japan, readily supported the presentation of Croatian wine and also introduced the tourist and economic potential of Croatia for wealthy Japanese businessmen and socialites.

Japanese Honorary Consuls Hiroshi Ojima from Osaka and Koichi Takakura from Okinawa gave their support to the Croatian wines promotion and expressed their desire for more business.