The Wine and Spirit Trade Association travelled to Tokyo this week to show off the quality of British drinks – including a handful of English sparkling wines.
The British Embassy welcomed winemakers and gin distillers from the UK for a briefing on the Japanese alcohol market and a ‘meet the buyer’ event and tastings. Further tastings for sommeliers and mixologists commence today, hosted by Aston Martin at the British car maker’s offices.
Four English sparkling wines and products from ten different gin distillers will be showcased in total.
As one of the fastest-growing markets for UK food and drink exports, Tokyo is a priority destination for the trade. The interest shown was a “fantastic boost” for the UK drinks industry, said chief executive Miles Beale.
The removal of tariffs would allow Britain to maintain its position as the world’s largest spirits exporter and further boost the UK economy, providing more jobs, he added.
HMRC figures released this year put UK wine exports at £550 million in 2017, including more than £250 million to Asia and Oceania, with wine exports to Japan worth over £9 million.
In addition to Tokyo, the WSTA has recently held events in embassies in Copenhagen, Madrid and Hong Kong and will hold more events at official residencies overseas in 2019.