Big in Japan: Chile overtakes France as top wine producer

Chile is officially big in Japan! We aren't talking about a pop song or celebrity, but rather Chilean wine - which is now the number 1 seller in Japan, overtaking the French wine for the first time.

Japan is known as a country of good taste with its booming food scene, which has spread all over the world. But when it comes to wine, the Japanese have traditionally imported wine from other producing countries.

France, unquestionably the most famous wine producing country in the world, has long been the top exporter of wine to Japan. However last year, in 2015, Chile overtook France in its wine exports and officially became the top wine country for Japanese consumers!

Chilean wine sales have seen an impressive growth, last year reporting a growth of 18.1%, and France has seen a steady decline, last year reporting a fall of 2.8%. This tallied up to make Chilean wine the most imported wine in Japan with 51.59 million litres, just beating France at 51.51 million litres.

The trend is partially due to the Economic Partnership Agreement between Japan and Chile which started in 2007, but Japanese consumers have also been leaning towards Chilean wines by preference for its 'fruity' and 'easy to drink' nature.

By Amanda Barnes