The "6000 Years of Italian Wine" campaign promoting still and sparkling Italian wine with the participation of Italian wine producers and consortia, kicked off in Japan with approximately 70 events scheduled. In the first semester of 2018, Italy exported to Japan 14,844,000 litres of still wine worth 8,236 million Yen, and 2,961,000 litres of sparkling wine worth 1,929 million Yen. The initiative, promoted by ICE (Agency for the Promotion Abroad and the Internationalisation of Italian Companies), is now at its 8th edition and this year its logo, portraying an ancient Roman holding a goblet of wine, was drawn by Japanese manga cartoonist Mari Yamazaki. The most acclaimed events will be the two Wine Exchanges organised in Kyoto and Tokyo which will bring to Japan 40 Italian wineries together with 35 micro small and medium-sized companies operating in the agri-food sector. The Italian Ambassador in Tokyo, Giorgio Starace, inaugurated the event recalling the positive figures on Italian wine imports into the Country provided by the Japanese Ministry of Finance. In 2017, Japanese imports of Italian still wine rose 10.2% from 2016 and, in the first semester of 2018, the rise was even greater, reaching 14.2% and outperforming our most direct competitors, France and Chile. Moreover, in the first semester of 2018, our exports conquered a 1.1% share of the Japanese market, ranking Italy as Japan’s second-largest wine supplier, on a par with Chile and ahead of USA, Spain and Australia.
The uptrend also concerns sparkling wine, with imports up 25.1% in the first semester of 2018, although France continues to run the show. Therefore, the aim is to boost Italian sparkling wine exports by making the most of the traditional Happy Hour, promoting possible combinations with local gastronomy, for example ‘Spumante and Sushi’.