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.
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.
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.