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California Wines Announces New Marketing Representation in South Korea


Recognizing the strong market opportunities arising in South Korea, California Wines has appointed Mina Choi as In-Market Representative, effective July 1, 2021. She founded Wine Inspiration, which provides integrated marketing services for wineries, importers, retailers and HoReCa. Choi, based in Seoul, will be managing the California Wines marketing initiatives as part of California Wines’ increased focus on North Asia and Australia overseen by California Wines regional representatives Hiro Tejima, based in Sydney and Madoka Ogiya, based in Tokyo.

As one of the most important regions for California wine exports, North Asia, and in particular South Korea, present an exciting opportunity with the country’s wine imports having reached a record $330 million in 2020, up 27% from 2019, and an increase in volume by 24%. Over the past year, stay-at-home measures during COVID-19 made wine a preferred alcohol beverage in South Korea, where beer and soju have traditionally been dominant. With government changes, online purchasing of alcohol has also contributed to the creation of new consumers of California wine, along with the opening of new brick and mortar wine shops.

“We are thrilled to have Mina bring her expertise to California Wines, especially as we enhance our focus on the South Korea market and introduce a new regional structure,” said Honore Comfort, California Wines Vice President of International Marketing “The North Asia market is especially important as we work to reach a goal of $2.5 billion in California wine exports by 2030. As the California Wines Export Program continues to grow, we look forward to collaborating with member wineries as well as key trade, media and consumers in South Korea, showcasing the diversity and high-quality wines California has to offer.”

The renewed California Wines marketing program in South Korea starts in mid-August with an Importers Meeting, followed by a range of activities such as the launch of the California Wines Online Brand Directory, a Virtual Tour to California, retail and on-premise promotions and the California Wines Alive Tasting planned for Seoul in March 2022.

To learn more about California Wines in South Korea, please contact

About Wine Institute’s California Wine Export Program
Since 1985, Wine Institute has served as the administrator of the Market Access Program, a cost-share export promotion program managed by the USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service. The program includes more than 185 wineries that export to 142 countries, and 18 global representative offices, conducting marketing and promotional programs in 27 countries across the globe. 


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