Most people are amazed to discover that Japan is a wine-producing country at all, so a visit to the main wine region is a journey of discove…
Most people are amazed to discover that Japan is a wine-producing country at all, so a visit to the main wine region is a journey of discovery in so many ways. For a start, the scenery of Yamanashi is beautiful: it’s just to the north of Mount Fuji, so it’s hilly and green, and worth seeing even if you’re not a wine connoisseur. The wineries – around 60 of them – are concentrated in a relatively small area in the Koshu Valley. We visit one that dates back to 1877 and another established in 1979, and it’s fascinating to compare the way the wines are made and, of course, taste a few vintages!
I love walking through the vineyards as it takes me back to my childhood. I grew up not far from Cognac, in south-west France, and when I was little I used to help my grandfather in his own vineyard, which is where my passion for wines was born. Of course, there are differences between Japan and France. The main grape variety grown here is the pink-skinned Koshu, which was introduced more than a thousand years ago and produces crisp white wines that go well with Japanese cuisine. It copes with the relatively humid summers, but the vines are also grown on a kind of high horizontal trellis to let the air circulate better, which people find intriguing.
Your journey will start with one of our UK team – someone like Malcolm, who's travelled extensively in Japan. They’ll shape your ideas into the trip of a lifetime. But they won't do it alone. They'll draw on the expertise of our contacts on the ground, connecting you to the people who'll make your holiday one you'll always remember - the tea devotee who'll introduce you to the ceremony surrounding Japan's national drink, the noodle guru who'll teach you how to make the perfect bowl of soba and the ryokan owner who'll tutor you in the relaxing art of the onsen.
Freephone an expert 01306 744 656