Chilean wineries hope to increase exports to Japan

Wine producers in South America held an event in Santiago, Chile, on Sunday to promote sales of local wine products to other countries.

It was the first event of its kind organized by municipal authorities in wine producing regions.

Nearly 30 wineries, most Chilean, lined up bottles in their stalls and offered visitors a chance to taste each product.

Chile is one of the world's top wine producing countries thanks to large fluctuations in temperature and dry weather suitable for growing grapes.

Wineries in Chile are hoping to increase exports to Japan where Chilean wine is popular.

Trade agreements help those efforts. Exports of Chilean wine to Japan have increased five-fold since the bilateral free trade agreement took effect in 2007.

Chile has been the world's top wine exporter to Japan for four consecutive years.

Japan removed tariffs from Chilean wine this month.

Organizers of Sunday's event say local wineries are trying to produce high value-added wines for Japan and other Asian markets.

They say that this year they want to export more white wine in particular to Japan.