Japan was Pieroth's first overseas venture. Business started on 1.4.69 after Elmar Pieroth himself conducted one week of test sales in 1968. Sent out on 23.3.69 to "see what can be done" was Pieroth Japan KK's founder Guntram Kintzel. He joined Pieroth France 1963 shortly after its foundation. In 1964 he established Casa Vinicola Pieroth, Italy before returning to France to manage the business there.
Establishing a company in Japan took a little longer, as a quota system as well as licence and foreign ownership regulations did not permit it right away. Initially imports were done through a local importer. Eventually, however, a branch office could be set up on 8.6.71 and then on 17.5.1974 Pieroth Japan KK was finally established.
Wine drinking habits in Japan were in its infancy then and for quite some time thereafter. As a result business remained a "one man show" during the first 3 years. Starting in spring 1972 sales operations expanded and the first employees were engaged. Since then business has expanded in a steady way and the company now comprises of over 500 employees, working from over 35 sales offices at different locations nation-wide.
During the first years only 4 different kinds of German wines were imported. Little by little wine became better known and more popular. Today Pieroth Japan imports over 1.700 wines from 17 countries to satisfy ever increasing and diversified demands from its sophisticated and knowledgeable private and professional clients. Many of the wines imported are grown and produced for Pieroth's worldwide group member companies. But Pieroth Japan also represents many of the most reputed estates and wineries from many different countries.
Serving private customers remains the company's core business. Nonetheless from 1980 business expanded to include serving a large and diversified clientele of restaurants and hotels. From 2000 the business scope was further enlarged and now includes sales to the trade such as wholesalers, department stores and the like. Pieroth Japan opened its first World Wine Bar (WWB) at Haneda airport in 2010. Based on its success, we have now opened to date a total of 9 WWB's with a target of 2 a year till we reach 20.