Perspectives - Japan

Japan, a country with a population of 127m people, is the second biggest wine-importing country in Asia. According to the International Wine and Spirit Record (IWSR), as quoted by Wine Australia, 39.5m cases of wine were sold in Japan in 2016, compared with 157m cases in China. Japan’s population is ageing rapidly and living costs are rising, leading to a flat wine consumption market. On the bright side, the Japanese appear to be widening their fine wine repertoire. While they once limited their choices to the classic regions such as Burgundy, Bordeaux, (Super) Tuscany and California, Japanese consumers are now prepared to explore wines from elsewhere. James Lawrence interviews experts familiar with the market.

Raising the game

Does wine really change when grapes grow at high altitudes? The Catena Institute of Wine in Argentina may have some answers, as Jürgen Mathäß discovers.

The value of expertise

What does it take to change a region’s reputation and focus? Darren Smith looks at a tool used in Languedoc.

The wine detective

An interview with Maureen Downey by Robert Joseph

Perspectives - Sweden

Sweden, a country of 10m people in Scandinavia, is a monopoly market. Yet although an estimated 60 percent of wines are sold through Systembolaget, which can only be accessed by tender, Sweden is a dynamic, wine-loving market that’s in growth. James Lawrence asks people who are already exporting there about the secret to success in Sweden.

Bubbles or nothing

There’s more to a Champagne bubble than meets the eye. Felicity Carter attends a virtual tasting, where all is revealed.

The sportsman

An interview with Nick Pringle by Robert Joseph

Perspectives - Germany

Germany is the world’s biggest import market by volume, but it can be a difficult place to do business. The market is highly fragmented and divided into distinct regions, and consumers stubbornly resist paying higher prices for their wines. James Lawrence speaks to exporters who have achieved success, regardless of the obstacles.

The Superman of yeasts

There’s a lot of talk about wild yeast fermentations, but how wild is really wild? Treve Ring visits the Lallemand Oenology conference to find out.