Vina Belje exports to Japan


The Japanese market is highly demanding, but also promising as it is a market with almost 130 million people

Vina Belje presented their wines in mid-February at the Supermarket Trade Show, the largest trade fair in Japan. During the guided wine tastings that were held every day at the fair, Japanese consumers gave excellent grades to Vina Belje Graševina. This is why Fuji Trading announced a significant increase in imports of Croatian wines and a visit from Japanese buyers to Croatian wineries in September.

Approximately 364 million liters of wine are consumed in the Japanese market and import is dominated by wines originating from Europe which gives wines from Croatia a great chance for success. 

“Croatian wines are still not recognized in Japan and are being imported in small quantities. Customer reactions are, however, strongly positive and this is the reason why we plan to participate in all significant wine shows and fairs in Japan, as well as organizing tasting of Croatian wines three to four times a year”, said Tsuneharu Hiyosi, managing director of Fuji Trading who is the distributer of Croatian wine brands in Japan.

„Vina Belje export Graševina to Japan as the most significant Croatian wine that proved itself as an excellent choice for Japanese cuisine because of its fresh and authentic taste. In such a demanding market it is important to have an excellent price to quality ratio and our Graševina proven this through its continuous export and presence in select shopping malls and restaurants in Japan”, said Ljiljana Vajda-Mlinaček, executive director of marketing and tourism sectors in Belje.

The project promoting Croatian wines in Japan includes three more wineries from Croatia and is financed from the “Wine envelope” – a national program funded by EU for financing measures to promote the wine industry.  The project was designed and submitted by Vina Belje, their fifth approved project for promoting wines in markets outside EU.

Ambassador of Republic of Croatia in Japan, Dražen Hrastić, supported the project, as well as honorary Consules Hiroshi Ojima from Osaka and Koichi Takakura from Okinawa.