In the 1980’s, Emma and friend, Pip, quit their first jobs, bought round-the-world tickets and set off on an adventure. One of the key stops was a visit to school friend, Kozue, who had returned home to Japan. Now a couple of decades later, Emma was back in Japan to promote Painted Wolf Wines at Foodex 2014, the largest food and drink expo in Asia.

It is said that old friends are always the best when it comes to picking up the threads and reconnecting and this proved to be true. Kozue met Emma at the airport and took a week off work to spend time with her and to help on the Painted Wolf Wines stand. Apart from providing a friendly face and moral support, Kozue offered invaluable insight into the companies who showed an interest in importing Painted Wolf Wines as well as being a culinary guide and companion when the two of them ventured out to eat after the show.

Emma had no idea what level of interest to expect and was blown away by the response to our wines, our labels and our story. The Japanese people she met seemed to be very interested in South Africa in general, so let’s hope they become obsessed with our wines in particular.

The Department of Trade and Industry did a fantastic job with the stand, employing interpreters and giving great support to all the South African companies present at the show as they met chefs, restaurateurs, importers, distributors and enthusiastic foodies.

We remain hopeful that with a bit of time, some of our Japanese fans will switch Sake for a bit of South African “Sokkie”.