In the year 2012, the wines that came out of Japan started gaining popularity. The wines made are from Japanese grapes, which is unique to the country. The number of winemakers has been steadily increasing in Japan following the boom in 2012. Major wine brands have been expanding business in Japan to cash in on the growth that the new wine country presents. Japanese wines are known for its beautiful flavor that is subtle, yet, high in quality. The production of the wines in Japan from pure Japanese grapes is called ‘Japanese Wines’ and are different from wines made with imported grapes.
In the year 2016, over 16,000 kilolitres of wines made in Japan was shipped to all parts of the world. This has brought the production and selling of Japanese wines to the rest of the world, to a steady 6% increase every year. The Japanese drink a lot of the wine that is cultivated and produced in Japan. The number that is shipped overseas is only a smidge compared to the amount consumed. However, with new players entering the market, the amount sent overseas is only expected to rise in the future.
The Award-Winning Wines from Japan
With the sudden burst to popularity, international wine tasters have welcomed the wines from Japan with much awe. International awards are now being handed to the Japanese cultivators for the unexpected flavors they are bringing to the world. In the year 2013, the Gris de Koshu from Grace Winery was the first ever Japanese wine to win the gold medal at the Decanter Asia Wine Awards. The unexpected award for a new wine from a country not known for wine production helped increase the exports of wine, ever since.
All the wines that are produced from the native Japanese grape are beautiful to try. The ‘Koshu’ or the native Japanese grape used in wine production since 1874 has been around for centuries. The grape is grown in the Yamanashi area and is used in over 95% of classic wines produced. The Yamanashi area is found in the shadow of Mount Fuji in Japan has scales over 450 hectares of vineyards.
Cultivating Grapes in The Yamanashi Area
The area is prone to a lot of rain, which poses a challenge for any winemaker. However, the Japanese have become skilled at the art of allowing the vines to grow high above the ground before the rains begin. The pergola system that is used in the growing of the plants is structured to allow air to flow through as well. The process ensures that the grapes do not rot when there are excessive rains in the area. The winemakers show passion in their cultivation by even adorning hats for each bunch of grapes during the storms, to protect them.
The beautiful delicate grapes are perfect for producing both still and sparkling wines. The Koshu variety is different from the wines from creamed rice and yuzu. The aromatic wine is perfect to be paired with the Japanese cuisine. The high acidity of the wines and the delicate nature of the taste makes it an ideal accompaniment for sushi. Expect to find hints of lemon and other citrus notes in the wines; presenting a unique feature in wine production.