Ukrainian wine importer supports homeland with Japan venture
Ukrainian citizen Yevgeniya Grippa has launched a new venture exporting wine to Japan in order to support her homeland.
Grippa, whose former business importing and selling Japanese cosmetics in Ukraine went under as a result of Russia’s invasion in February 2022, has struck up a deal with Ukraine’s Artwinery to export sparkling wines to Japan.
According to Japan’s The Mainichi, where this story was first reported, Grippa’s company Umi Group LLC will officially begin conducting sales in October. The importer plans to sell sparkling wines produced at Artwinery’s Bakhmut site, a scene of ongoing conflict in Ukraine.
the Soviet-era winery, established in 1950, is known for its sparkling Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, and produced 10-12 million bottles a year prior to the war.
Sales were originally planned to begin last year, but the winery was since forced to relocate millions of bottles to the suburbs of Kyiv in order to protect them from the fighting.
The wines must be driven across Europe before being shipped to Japan, as the conflict has resulted in the majority of Ukrainian ports being closed off.
Despite the struggles, Grippa, acting as Artwinery’s Japanese importer, took part in an international food and beverage exhibition held at the Tokyo International Exhibition Centre, the largest of its kind in Japan, to promote Artwinery’s products.
Grippa’s company showcased a total of seven sparkling wines at the three-day event. It is the first time the products, made using the traditional method from Ukrainian grapes and aged for 36 months, have been imported into Japan.
Grippa told The Mainichi: “Recently, the image of Ukraine is only war. I wanted people to know that there are also good quality products made in Ukraine, and I’d love to introduce them to the Japanese people.”