- Friday 29 November 2002
The agreement between the multultinational wine giant - part of Foster's Group - and the Japanese brewery and distributor of beer, wine and soft drinks, will come into effect from 1 January 2003.
Beringer Blass Asia Pacific managing director Jamie Odell told decanter.com, 'We regard Japan as a key, long-term growth market.'
'Our partnership with Sapporo is consistent with focusing globally on building our core brands, Beringer and Wolf Blass.'
Sapporo will distribute 20 wines from the Beringer Vineyards portfolio, including the Napa Valley Merlot, Carneros Pinot Noir, Clear Lake Zinfandel, Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc and the Stone Cellars Sauvignon Blanc, which will be imported into Japan for the first time.
Japan has registered the second fastest growth in wine consumption among key markets worldwide over the last 30 years, with sales of red wine outstripping white.
Odell said as wines priced below 1000 yen (€7.22) represent 70 per cent of the market in Japan, the Stone Cellars brand has proved extremely successful since its launch in February 2002.
'We expect to see strong growth in Beringer Vineyards sales in Japan,' he said.