Rising wine sales to Asia have prompted Chile to plan a series of promotional events later this month in Vietnam, Japan, China, Korea, Seoul, Hong Kong and Taipei.

The programme will run from 18 May to 1 June with one event in each country, including for the first time a tasting in Ho Chi Minh City.

"Tastings for business people and wine professionals are the most important activity, and we invite 20 to 25 businesses in each city," said Paola Vasquez of ProChile, the trade body responsible for the events.

In 2008, Chilean wine sales to Japan grew by 29.6% in value and it is now the 8th most important export destination for the country, according to figures from Wines of Chile (WOC), the country¹s promotional group.

Chilean wine exports reached 5.8m last year, said WOC.