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Wine professionals from Japan, South Korea and Vietnam tour Australian wine regions

06 Jun 2024

Wine Australia recently welcomed visits from high-profile sommeliers and hospitality professionals from the key Asian markets of Japan, South Korea and Vietnam.

The guests gained a first-hand experience of Australian wine regions – and the diversity of wine that Australia produces – through a series of personalised tours, tastings and dining occasions with local winemakers. 

The combined regional visits, enabled by the Australian Government’s Agricultural Trade and Market Access Cooperation (ATMAC) program, included activities in Beechworth, King Valley, Yarra Valley, Hunter Valley, Tasmania, Barossa Valley, Adelaide Hills and McLaren Vale. 

Guests from Japan had the opportunity to taste 140 wines from nearly 50 wineries, while visitors from South Korea and Vietnam tasted 245 wines from 53 wineries. 

The Japan group included three renowned sommeliers; Satoru Mori (Executive Sommelier / Beverage Director for Andaz Tokyo), Taku Iguro (Beverage Director / Chef Sommelier for three Michelin star restaurant L’OSIER) and Miyuki Morimoto (Executive Sommelier of Conrad Tokyo).

Guests visiting from South Korea and Vietnam were; Sangiun Lee (KAL Hotel Network Hotel Operation Deputy General Manager & KE Wine Consultant and selector, Korea), Vi Le Hoang (Vice President, Saigon Sommelier Association, Vietnam), Tram Thi Dung Tran (Restaurant Manager - Australian wine specialist at Tran Thi Dung Tram, Vietnam), Taejeong Noh (Chief Sommelier at Hyundai Department Store Co Ltd, South Korea) and Minjoo Kim (Buyer at Lotte Bottle Bunker, South Korea). 

Feedback from both visits reinforced the quality and diversity of Australian wine, and the people and places that make it special.

Minjoo Kim, buyer at Lotte Bottle Bunker, South Korea:  

“It was an enlightening ten days during which I learned a great deal about Australia and Australian wines, to the extent that even Barossa Valley and McLaren Vale – relatively well-known in our country – weren't as familiar as I had thought. The trip provided an opportunity to visit wineries and meet numerous growers that would have been difficult to arrange individually. Particularly striking was the sense that winemakers in Australia put even more heart into their wines, compared to those in other countries. Throughout the journey, I constantly felt there is much more to learn and share about Australian wines. Moreover, I noticed the great attention paid by our country manager and Wine Australia to this program.”

Satoru Mori (Executive Sommelier / Beverage Director for Andaz Tokyo, Japan:

“This visit gave me a greater sense of the depth and breadth of Australian wine than ever before. I was able to experience first-hand the diversity of styles and learn about the many different varieties, approaches, and expressions. In Tasmania, which I visited for the first time, I was able to experience the high quality of the grapes and wines, and the potential of sparkling wine”.

Wine Australia General Manager Marketing Paul Turale said the impact of these visits was significant. 

“Having guests of this calibre in the country, tasting this number of wines, will bring benefit to the Australian category in these markets and help build sustained demand for Australian wines,” he said.

“The engagements provided an opportunity to demonstrate lesser-known aspects of Australian wine that our guests were interested in learning more about – evolving styles, emerging varieties and innovative winemaking – and helps to demonstrate how a refreshed assortment of Australian wine might benefit their businesses.”

Wine Australia will continue to work with the sommeliers and hospitality professionals to drive advocacy for Australian wine across the wider Asian region, supporting the category through education and enhancing the Australian wine listings. 

These engaging visits were designed to fulfill Wine Australia’s core marketing strategies of building export markets, and increasing the demand and premium paid for Australian wine. Itineraries were developed in consultation with guest’s requirements and regional wine associations.

Guests from Japan in Beechworth

Guests from South Korea and Vietnam at Yangarra in McLaren Vale

For media enquiries please contact or phone 08 8228 2000.

About Wine Australia

Wine Australia supports a competitive wine sector by investing in research and innovation (R&I), growing domestic and international markets and protecting the reputation of Australian wine.

Wine Australia is an Australian Commonwealth Government statutory authority, established under the Wine Australia Act 2013, and funded by grape growers and winemakers through levies and user-pays charges and the Australian Government, which provides matching funding for R&I investments.

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This content is restricted to wine exporters and levy-payers. Some reports are available for purchase to non-levy payers/exporters.