White Wine, Japan

Although Japan has a long history of viticulture and grape cultivation for table consumption, domestic wine production with locally produced grapes is much more recent (late 19th century). Today, more than 200 wineries exist in Japan. The Japanese are producing wines in a range of climates and areas throughout the country, from mountains and valleys to coastal areas, with Japan generally seeing more rainfall and humidity than the major wine-producing areas of Europe. The main winemaking region, which accounts for roughly one-third of domestic production, is in Yamanashi Prefecture. Other regions include Hokkaido, Nagano, and Yamagata. Japan cultivates a wide range of grape varieties; however, most of these are for table consumption, with only a small percentage used in domestic winemaking. Though technically no grapevines are native to Japan, the Koshu white wine grape has evolved locally over the centuries, and many consider it an indigenous variety. Koshu generally boasts citrus aromas, including grapefruit and lemon, light acidity, and lower alcohol. Other varieties include Muscat Bailey A, a red grape; Merlot; Chardonnay; Cabernet; Kerner; and Sauvignon Blanc.
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  1. Grace Winery Toriibira Vineyard Koshu 2019
    More white fleshed fruit, a little dash of pepper, apple skin, light grip, fresh and fine, a dusty texture, but a smoother and more composed wine than the Hishiyama, and little longer, though perhaps that’s splitting hairs. So lovely. ... Learn More
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    Gary Walsh
  2. Grace Koshu Toriibira Vineyard Private Reserve 2019
    Many years ago, I’d never have imagined that tasting a set of white wines from Japan would be one of my more favourite events of the year. It’s a life full of surprises, for sure. Importer: QED Smooth, ... Learn More
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