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Mick Nippard

AWines Inc.

Date of birth: Aug. 24, 1966

Hometown: Melbourne

Number of years in Japan (cumulative): 12 (as of October 2018)

Mick Nippard
Q1: What was your first encounter with Japan?

I came here on a working holiday visa at the age of 21 and fell in love with the country, especially Hokkaido. When I moved back with family in 2006, Sapporo was the only choice. Lifestyle is vital for my family and me.

Q2: Please state your motto in life and why you have chosen it.

I have two — “The cup is always 1/2 full, never 1/2 empty,” and, as I import wine, I truly believe that “Life is to too short to drink bad wine.” The first one is all about being positive, looking forward and thinking positively. The second one is pretty self-explanatory.

Q3 : Over your career, what achievement are you the proudest of?

When I started AWines I thought, “I’m not going to die wondering and have a go. It can’t be that hard. Oh my God! In the worst case, if I failed I had 600 nice bottles to drink.”
Now I have 5,000-plus bottles, so I figure I am doing something right. Also, since I opened Mick’s I support small businesses like myself and try use local where possible.

Q4 : What are your goals during your time in Japan, your current position or in life?

I want to introduce artisan and authentic wines to everyone who lives in Japan. I import wines that are made in small volumes by family-owned and operated wineries. To be specific, I import wines that tell me a story of how they were made and where they are from.
Also, I want to have as much fun and give as much fun as I can to people, and give tourists in Niseko an insight into Japan and Japanese culture.

Q5 : What wisdom, advice or tips can you give to people living and working in Japan?

Don’t take yourself too seriously and always try to see the good side of a situation even if it’s not so at the time.
Learn when to open your mouth, but more importantly, when to keep in closed.
Make every effort to live here and not exist here.
Japan is a country with a lot of unique and interesting things to experience; try to experience it all from all over the country.

Last updated: Oct 22, 2018