Sales of Beaujolais wine to Japan may increase some 20-30% to a record high this year, according to industry sources.

The estimates, in local press reports, come from the increased orders placed with Japan's leading drinks importers.

The largest Beaujolais distributor, Suntory, has seen orders climb 41% to 303,000 9-litre cases this year.

Asahi Breweries, the second largest player, has seen orders up 63% to 122,000 cases.

At three and four are Mercian Corp and Kirin Brewery, which saw increase of 13% and 40% respectively.