A new law has just been passed in Japan which states that from this month, all 'Japanese wine' must be made from grapes grown in Japan. The aim is to break the long-time custom of importing wine from abroad, bottling it and labelling it as the country's own produce.
This new law will be a great opportunity to promote its burgeoning wine industry. Albeit sill starting to gain recognition on the international market, Japanese winemakers take great pride in what they do, and their product is of extremely high quality.
So what is it that makes Japanese wines so unique? It is the ability of Japanese winemakers to apply meticulous practices in the vineyard and in the cellar to capture flavours and characters that are representative of its unique terroir and a representation of Japans' flavour.
Nothing seems to be too much trouble for the Japanese vineyard manager. Due to Japan's sub-tropical climate and high humidity and summertime rain problems with rot and swollen berries often arise. To overcome these, Japanese vineyard managers have developed new types of precision viticulture. For example, covering each grape bunch with two pieces of waxed paper stapled together is a common practice to shield the grapes from excessive rain.
In terms of flavours, these are delicate with citrus and peach and an affinity for ageing on its lees. Koshu wine also has a subtle salty note, which makes it a great accompaniment to raw fish dishes and makes it unique. Grace Koshu Kayagatake is a perfect example of the delicate balance and delicate flavours that make Japanese wine unlike any other.