Vinexpo Tokyo visitor numbers rise 33%

The biannual Vinexpo Tokyo wine and spirits trade fair saw visitor numbers increase by 33% in 2016, compared with its first edition in 2014.


Tokyo at night

The event took place at the Prince Park Tower hotel in Tokyo on November 15 and 16, and specifically targeted Japanese wine and spirits buyers in this “singular, yet mature” market.

Offering producers the chance to connect with the growing Japanese market, the fair showcased wines from 12 countries including Italy, Spain, France, Argentina, Chile and Germany, through the portfolios of hundreds of exhibitors.

Also on show were products from regions not yet largely distributed in the country, such as wines of Moldova, New York, or Greece, attracting Japanese buyers keen to source niche and premium wines.

“Japan is Asia’s most mature market, on-trade buyers and sommeliers are increasingly interested in niche products such as ours,” stated Souheil El Khoury, owner of Vins d’Olive, one of the Japanese importers, who poured the wines at the Greek stand.

“Here at Vinexpo Tokyo we had a lot of sommeliers coming to our stand to taste and source wines with which to surprise their clients and add value to their wine lists.”

Wines of New York took a stand for the first time this year with representatives from five wineries exhibiting, including America’s oldest winery, Botherhood.

Among the tastings on offer was a Swiss wine tasting presented by esteemed sommelier Paolo Basso, one organised by the Union des Grands Crus de Bordeaux, and a Champagne masterclass presented by Jon Arvid Rosengren, Best Sommelier of the World 2016.

“This second edition of Vinexpo Tokyo showed, just how well the know-how of the Vinexpo brand can adapt to the specific requirements of a market,” stated Guillaume Deglise, Vinexpo CEO. 

With visitor number rising by 33% compared with the 2014 edition, Deglise said this event had set the foundation for future Vinexpo events in Japan.

Unlike its Bordeaux and Hong Kong counterparts, where buyers from around the globe meet producers from various countries, the Tokyo event brought an international wine and spirits offer to one single market: Japan.

Japanese wine imports hit 2.7 million hectoliters last year, worth ¥176 billion (€1.4bn), with increases in volume and value compared with 2014 of 3.6% and 4.2% respectively.

Vinexpo Tokyo is currently the only B2B exhibition in Japan specially dedicated to wines and spirits.

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