One Canadian wine enthusiast is experience success in his Tokyo wine store, which sells only wines from the Great White North.
In a recent interview with Canadian news outlet CBC, owner Jamie Paquin said his store, called Heavenly Vines, offers a unique selection of high-quality wines which have piqued the interest of a city of oenophiles and foodies whose tastes are continuing to mature in a city with more Michelin-starred restaurants than Pairs.
The Japanese appreciation for good wine and good food was apparent to Paquin when he met a man who traveled 700 kilometers just to try a particular style of Japanese noodle.
Paquin’s shop specializes in wines from British Columbia to Ontario, including Okanagan Valley and Sicamous Valley.
His shelves represent more than 30 Canadian winemakers. CBC reports the store is the only one outside of Canada to sell Canada-only wines.
According to the Heavenly Vines website, the store was opened in January 2011.
“One of the strengths of Heavenly Vines is that shopkeeper Jamie is a Canada native, and because of this he has a deep knowledge and connection to Canadians and the uniqueness of Canadian wines,” the website says.
Paquin hopes to build a cooperative relationships between his store, his clients and the top-level wineries in Canada in order to ensure a health inventory offering the wines which Japanese clients want.
“In addition to giving people a taste of our delicious wine, we aim to be a bridge between the two countries of Japan and Canada,” the store’s site says.
The store offers weekend wine tastings of red and white wines, as well as hosted dinners in which diners can have a gourrnet-level meal along with wine pairings provided Heavenly Vines.
Paquin’s shop is indicative of Japan’s growing affinity for Canadian wine over the past decade. According to the Canadian Vintners Association, exports of Canadian wine to Japan jumped nearly 100 percent from 2009 to 2012. In 2009, Canada sent 22,857 liters of wine to Japan. That number saw a tepid rise in 2010 to 23,476 then rose a whopping 21,000 liters to 44,001 liters in 2001.
Export numbers experienced a small drop in volume in 2012, but what was lost in volume was made up for in sales. The value of Canadian wine shipped to Japan in 2012 rose more than 26,000 Canadian dollars to 980,701.
Japan is Canada’s sixth-largest importer of Canadian wines, according to the Canadian Vintners Association.
Original: Snooth – Articles