Wine ‘Made in Japan’ Goes Beyond the Boundaries

06.07.2018

©KATSUNUMA JYOZO WINERY

The commune of Katsunuma in Japan is reminiscent of a small village in Burgundy. It’s clearly more of a white wine than a saké place. And with good reason: this town, located in the heart of the Yamanashi prefecture, is the birthplace of Japanese wine.

The story really began in 1870. A young man from the area went to France to learn how to make wine. When he returned, he became the first Japanese wine maker. Today, Katsunama is home to around thirty vineyards, which are responsible for producing 27% of the country’s total amount of wine.

The speciality, Köshû, is a 100% Japanese white wine, and the grape varieties used to make it are accustomed to the local climate, and in fact grow only in Japan. Local wine makers have created their own appellations and now export the wine they produce. Which seems pretty sensible: the average Japanese person drinks just 2.5 litres of wine a year, compared to the average French person who drinks over 50. 

©KATSUNUMA JYOZO WINERY

©KATSUNUMA JYOZO WINERY

©KATSUNUMA JYOZO WINERY