Episode 2

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Published on:

11th Apr 2022

Spilling the Sparkling on New Zealand Wine in Japan with Carl Robinson

Did you know that one out of every three bottles of New Zealand wine sold in Japan are from just one brand? Our latest Jandal in Japan pops the cork on New Zealand wine in the Japanese market. Carl Robinson shares with us his 25+ years of experience and wisdom of working in all aspects of the Japanese wine market. Grab a glass of your favourite tipple and join us!   

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In this episode we’ll spill the sparkling on:

  • How Carl went from being a musician, to working in a bean sprout factory in Kyushu to joining the wine industry in Tokyo in the 90s
  • What is so special about the market in Japan for food and beverage that New Zealand businesses can take advantage of
  • Carl’s recipe for success in the Japanese market and what you can do to emulate it
  • What Carl sees in the future of Japan and the wine industry in particular

About Carl

Carl was born in Birkenhead, England and emigrated to Auckland New Zealand as a young child. He spent time in Auckland and London as a musician in a band. Carl lives in Tokyo with his wife Jeanette, a fellow Kiwi. Carl and Jeanette met at Auckland University and he came to Japan in 1991 for an extended honeymoon on a working holiday visa, first of all working in Kyushu, learning the language and getting immersed into Japanese culture. After another stint in London Carl attained his WSET wine qualifications and he and Jeanette both then returned to Japan in 1996 during a boom time for wines in Japan. Carl worked at Tokyo American Club (TAC) writing their wine program, training staff and was TAC’s wine buyer. He also taught the WSET wine course in Tokyo and wrote about wine for JAL inflight magazine and consulted to hotels for their wine lists. He created his own successful import company, Jeroboam in 2003 that celebrates 20 years in Japan in 2023. Carl now additionally heads up Cellar Door Aoyama, a Tokyo Fine wine Retailer and Restaurant and is CEO of Australasian wine importer Wine Diamonds and he also is part owner of Wine Diamonds New Zealand which imports, distributes and sells wine through its retail stores in Auckland and Wellington. Carl lives and breathes wine, and if there is anyone who knows about importing wine into Japan it’s Carl and he has deep insights to share on how to be successful in the land of the rising sun.  

Connect with Carl

Website: www.cellardoorfinewine.jp

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/cellardooraoyama/ 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/cellardooraoyama 


Connect with Jayne and Catherine

Linked In: https://www.linkedin.com/company/jandals-in-japan-podcast/ 

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jandalsinjapan/ 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jandalsinjapan 

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCwdbd0QSHSLlOSPcpceHOcA

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About the Podcast

Jandals in Japan
Bringing The Land of the Long White Cloud to The Land of the Rising Sun
The best new show about doing business in Japan, bringing The Land of the Long White Cloud to The Land of the Rising Sun
How do you build a brand in Japan and nurture a loyal customer base?
What do you need to have in your tool belt if you are thinking of coming to Japan to launch a business here?
Japan is often considered to be in the "too hard" basket but we are here to open up the black box of doing business in Japan.
We will share stories from successful kiwis selling their products and services in the land of the rising sun.
They'll tell you their tips for success and pitfalls to avoid.
They'll share their challenges and what they did to overcome them.
They will tell you things you can't find in textbooks or on the internet.
We will also be sharing the latest intel and insights on Japan from our on-the-ground presence
And you'll hear some super business culture and other tips from us sprinkled throughout.
Grab a glass of sake and let's get into it.

About your hosts

Jayne Nakata

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Jayne Nakata is a Southland girl who arrived in Japan in 2002, planning to stay just two years. 20 years later she is still living in Fukushima Prefecture with her Japanese husband and two children. When the triple disaster hit in 2011, Jayne made the commitment to stay in Fukushima and contribute to rebuilding the area. She is the host of the award winning podcast Transformations with Jayne, which is a favourite with international women living in Japan. She is also the double award winning podcast producer and manager for PodLaunch with Jayne.

Catherine O’Connell

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Born and bred in Christchurch, Catherine O'Connell landed in Japan in 2002, on a one year contract, and 20 years later she's planted her feet firmly in Japan. She built a wealth of business and cultural experience working at the coal face of brand-name Japanese corporates as in house legal counsel. Catherine took a leap of faith down the entrepreneurial route launching her own multi award-winning boutique law firm in Tokyo in 2018, being the first Kiwi and first foreign female to do so. She is Vice Chair of the Australian & New Zealand Chamber of Commerce in Japan and helps businesses thrive in the Japan market delivering business insights meshed with legal instincts. Catherine is also host of the award-winning Lawyer on Air Podcast.