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Germany - German fruit wines a winner in the land of the rising sun

Fruit wine producer Katlenburger Winery exports 10% of its production to 17 countries around the world, including Japan

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Fruit wine producer Katlenburger Winery exports 10% of its production to 17 countries around the world, including Japan.

Founded in 1925 in Lower Saxony, Germany, the company began by producing sparkling apple wine. Since then, it has diversified to make wines from pears, cherries, currants and blueberries.

Today, Katlenburger's 90 employees produce 24 million bottles of wine a year, making it the biggest fruit wine producer in Europe. Japanese consumers are particularly fond of the Multi Vita Vino, a wine made from 10 different fruits. In 2016, Katlenberger exported 750,000 bottles of fruit wine to Japan – half the amount it sold there five years ago. Katlenberger say unfair competition and an increasingly price-sensitive market have made exporting to Japan more difficult. Japanese duties on Katlenberger's products are about 33 eurocents per litre. So Katlenburger would benefit from the tariffs cuts planned in the EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement.

Small businesses in particular depend on exports because the domestic market is becoming more challenging and dominated by larger firms with big advertising budgets.

Klaus Demuth,
CEO, Katlenburger Kellerei GmbH & co. KG