Phenomenal success of Račian wines in Japan

The Villa Vino Rača winery recorded one of the most successful periods last year. Račian wines were crowned with medals and titles of champions at domestic competitions, as well as abroad. With a feeling of satisfaction, we didn't even expect that something else could surprise us. At a time when the carousel of regional exhibitions and tastings is just getting started in Slovakia, we received gratifying news from halfway around the world. Wines produced by Villa Vino Rača once again charmed the expert jury, this time at the Sakura competition, in distant Japan.


The official name of the event – Sakura Japan Women`s Wine Awards – immediately evokes two basic pieces of information. The competition takes place in Japan and it is an exclusively women's affair. The wine is evaluated by women - wine experts. The competition itself is very significantly supported by marketing and at the same time it is connected with several events. These days, the competition is presented at the Supermarket Trade Show near Tokyo. At the same time, the results of the second year of the Sakura Japan Women`s Wine Awards competition were ceremoniously announced at this event.

More than 11 samples of wines from almost 4000 countries of the world participated in the 30th year of the competition. The president of the competition, Yumi Tanabe, particularly highlighted the significant representation of samples from less traditional countries of Eastern Europe. She also emphasized that the main purpose of the competition is to make the consumption of wine in Japan more attractive and, at the same time, to increase its consumption in this country. Public education through competition should be an effective tool to achieve this goal. Already at Sakura, not only the wine itself is evaluated, but also its pairing with food. In the future, they would like to focus even more on "enogastronomy" - that is, the connection of gastronomy with wine. The marketing support of the competition is not only the stickers on the bottles, but also the well-known "medals". The competition regularly publishes several materials, on which it informs not only about the awards, but especially about the aforementioned pairing with food. Last year, the ladies paired wines with nine types of food, some of which are specifically traditional Japanese dishes - sushi, tempura, sukiyaki, yakitori, teppan-yaki, pot-au-feu and three general Asian dishes - Chinese, Korean and Thai. .

The evaluation itself, under the strict supervision of the president of the competition, took place at the end of January this year, we had to wait until "Valentine's Day" for the official announcement of the results, and the "Grand Tasting" of the award-winning samples will be held on April 24 in Tokyo. Slovak participation in the Sakura competition was clearly the most successful for the Villa Vino Rača winery, which won the most awards. In the basic evaluation, the Račian winery was awarded one "Diamond Trophy" for Exclusive Danube grape selection 2019. The "Diamond Trophy" is the highest medal award at Sakura, even higher than the Grand Gold Medal.

Four gold medals were won by Grand Vin Devín wines, a selection of grapes from 2021, Exclusive Riesling Vlaský late harvest 2022, Exclusive Račianska frankovka 2019 and Palugyay Cabernet Sauvignon late harvest 2018. In the food pairing category, the Villa Vino Rača winery achieved phenomenal success. It received the Grand Prix award and at the same time a large gold medal for the wine Exclusive Dunaj grape selection 2019. According to Japanese tasters, this is the right wine with which you should drink Thai food. This is definitely worth a try. In addition to this success, the wine was awarded a gold medal Exclusive Italian Riesling late harvest 2022 – is a good choice for pairing with Japanese tempura – which is a traditional Japanese dish, fried seafood or vegetables coated in batter.

Two red wines produced by Villa Vino Rača received a special award in the category of lesser-known varieties on the Japanese market. Exclusive Račianska frankovka 2019 won a gold medal and Exclusive Dunaj 2019 even a large gold medal and Grand Prix, i.e. the title of champion. All that remains is to congratulate the successful Slovak wines and to wish that the interest in Slovak wine in distant Japan continues to grow. It would be our success if Slovaks could also share this admiration for exceptional Slovak wines.