Sparkling wines from the well-known Ukrainian company Artwinery will be imported to Japan starting from October of this year
This is an incredible event, considering that we know that Bachmut was completely destroyed by Russian aggressors. However, last year Artwinery managed to transport millions of bottles to the suburbs of Kyiv and save them from destruction. The idea of importing wine to Japan to support the winemaking company belongs to Ukrainian businesswoman Yevheniya Hrippa. Before Russia's invasion, she had a business importing and selling Japanese cosmetics in Ukraine, with her company Umi Group LLC. But when the war started, cosmetics ceased to be a priority for many Ukrainian women... Business came to a halt. The beginning of the war found Yevheniya in Japan. She decided to change her business model and began exploring the possibility of selling Ukrainian goods in Japan, ultimately choosing to focus on wine.
Hrippa reached out to Artwinery, the oldest Ukrainian company founded in 1950 and known as one of the largest producers in Eastern Europe. Sales were planned to start last year, but most Ukrainian ports are either destroyed or under constant enemy shelling, meaning that the wine needs to be transported to Europe before being shipped to Japan by sea.
"Without this import, this winery with its long history might not survive, and that would be a tragic loss," notes Yevheniya. "I want to help them continue doing what they do best."
Umi Group LLC participated in an international food and beverage exhibition at the Tokyo International Exhibition Center in June, where they showcased Artwinery products – seven sparkling wines made using the traditional fermentation method.
Restaurateurs, sommeliers, and other wine industry professionals stopped by the Umi Group LLC booth. Hiroki Sakamoto, the owner of Da Granza pizzeria in Tokyo, mentioned that he enjoyed the aromatic flavor of the wine. "Although we serve only Italian wine in my restaurant, we really want to introduce Ukrainian wine," he said, adding that he also hopes to support the country during such a challenging period.
Maiko Zama, an office manager at the wine company Baron Philippe De Rothschild Orient, noted, "As I work in the wine industry, I naturally gravitate towards things related to wine. But this winery stands out for me, especially because it is located in Bachmut, a region that has been heavily affected by the war."
Yevheniya dreams not only of supplying Ukrainian beverages to Japanese restaurants and consumers but also of introducing Japanese alcoholic beverages to Ukraine and other countries.
"Recently, Ukraine's image has been primarily associated with war. I want people to know that Ukraine also produces quality goods, and I want to introduce them to the Japanese. While we have been diligently working abroad, I believe that from now on, we need to work more in Ukraine as well. We have to rebuild everything for our children," Yevheniya confidently states.
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