[Food & Beverages domain]

First Export of Château Mercian to the EU Contributes to the Development of the Japanese Wine Industry

Export of Château Mercian to Italy Begins

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October 31, 2023

Mercian Corporation

TOKYO, October, 31 2023 –Mercian Corporation (Mercian) will begin exporting the Japanese wine, Château Mercian, to Italy in mid-November 2023. Italy will join the United States, Singapore, Hong Kong, and the United Kingdom as an export destination. We will start with a total of 9 products including “Château Mercian Yamanashi Koshu” and “Château Mercian Tamamoro Koshu Kiiroka”, both of which are made from Koshu, a grape variety unique to Japan, and “Château Mercian Hokushin Chardonnay ,” and gradually increase our export items.

In Italy, the world’s second largest consumer of wine, ethics, sustainability, and safety are food production priorities, and the number of consumers with a keen awareness of product story and of winemakers’ commitment to such qualities continues to increase.*1 In addition, interest in Japanese culture and cuisine has been growing since the Milan Expo held in 2015*1, the quantity of Japanese restaurants in Italy has grown significantly,*1 from 630*2 in 2015 to over 30,000 by 2021.

In October 2023, the Ministry of the Environment officially certified the Château Mercian Mariko Vineyard (Ueda City, Nagano Prefecture) as a Nature Symbiosis Site*3 in acknowledgment of its contribution to the global 30 by 30 target by promoting biodiversity. Château Mercian has also achieved 100% renewable energy in terms of electricity use at all three wineries (Katsunuma, Kikyogahara, and Mariko), among other achievements, as it pursues sustainable wine production.

In addition, Château Mercian Winery was ranked 38th in the world and was nominated “The best vineyard in ASIA” in the “World’s Best Vineyards 2023” announced in Rioja, Spain in July. Furthermore, from June 2023, the Château Mercian Winery English Guided Tour, a permanent English-language guided tour, has been available at the Château Mercian Katsunuma Winery (Koshu City, Yamanashi Prefecture) and Château Mercian Mariko Winery (Ueda city, Nagano Prefecture ). Château Mercian’s Japanese wines and winemaking are attracting attention from overseas as well, with reservations on the tours from customers from a total of 14 countries*4 as of the end of September 2023.
*1 Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO), Basic Information on Agricultural, Forestry, Fisheries and Food Products Marketing by Country, Italy, June 2022.
*2 Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Milan Office, Agriculture, Forestry, Fisheries and Food Products Department, Agriculture, Forestry, Fisheries and Food Products Research Division, “Basic Information on Japanese Restaurants,” March 2015.
*3 Names of areas certified by the Ministry of the Environment as “areas where biodiversity is being conserved through the efforts of the private sector and others.”
*4 Mercian survey.

This new export has been made possible by the growing interest in Japanese culture and food in Italy, as well as by the evaluation and recommendation of Gabriele Gorelli, Italy’s first Master of Wine, for sustainable winemaking that corresponds to the needs of Italian consumers.
In the UK, where exports began in 2019, Château Mercian has also received high praise for its quality and is in increasing demand, especially by restaurants and hotels. Sales doubled*5 in the five years to 2023 and are steadily increasing. Through this new exportation to Italy, we will further communicate the value of Château Mercian to the world.
*5 As of October 11, 2023

In the future, “Château Mercian” will continue to represent Japan as a winery under the vision of “Japan recognized as one of the world’s foremost wine regions” through ongoing activities aimed at further enhancing the value of Japanese wine and expanding its recognition both in Japan and abroad, thereby contributing to the development of the Japanese wine industry.

About Kirin Holdings

Kirin Holdings Company, Limited is an international company that operates in the Food & Beverages domain (Food & Beverages businesses), Pharmaceuticals domain (Pharmaceuticals businesses), and Health Science domain (Health Science business), both in Japan and across the globe.

Kirin Holdings can trace its roots to Japan Brewery which was established in 1885. Japan Brewery became Kirin Brewery in 1907. Since then, the company expanded its business with fermentation and biotechnology as its core technologies, and entered the pharmaceutical business in the 1980s, all of which continue to be global growth centers. In 2007, Kirin Holdings was established as a pure holding company and is currently focusing on boosting its Health Science domain.

Under the Kirin Group Vision 2027 (KV 2027), a long-term management plan launched in 2019, the Kirin Group aims to become “A global leader in CSV*, creating value across our world of Food & Beverages to Pharmaceuticals.” Going forward, the Kirin Group will continue to leverage its strengths to create both social and economic value through its businesses, with the aim of achieving sustainable growth in corporate value.

* Creating Shared Value: combined added value for consumers as well as for society at large.

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