Wine Institute Joins Governor Schwarzenegger's Trade And Tourism Mission To Japan
SAN FRANCISCO November 4, 2004 - Wine Institute President & CEO Robert P. (Bobby) Koch will join Governor Schwarzenegger on his Trade and Tourism Mission to Tokyo, November 10-13, to help the governor promote California. Japan is the third largest market for California wine exports and the largest market for the state's wine exports in Asia. Revenues to the state's wineries reached $76 million for Japan in 2003 and are expected to increase.
"The outlook for California wine is promising as the overall Japanese market continues to improve," says Bobby Koch. "Our state's wine regions are also a major destination for visitors from Japan as well as tourists from around the world. We commend the governor for bringing attention to California agriculture and the increasing popularity of California wines."
Wine Institute is optimistic regarding the growth of the Japanese wine market for several reasons. Though total alcohol consumption in Japan has been flat to declining in recent years, wine consumption has risen more than threefold since 1965. The deregulation of the wine, beer and spirits retailing market in September of 2003 in Japan has given wine new opportunities to increase sales. The decline of the dollar has also enhanced the competitive position of California wines. Finally, Japanese wine consumers have become increasingly aware of the high quality of California wines after years of sustained marketing programs by Wine Institute and its members.
Wine Institute is part of the "Buy California" promotion campaign that brings together resources from industry groups and CDFA. The Trade and Tourism Mission agenda includes "Taste of California" consumer and trade events, and meetings with key Japanese government and business leaders.