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  • Writer's pictureTeddy

Japanese wine

Noumin dry from Coco farm & winery can be tasted at restaurant Mitsuya, Shinjuku, Tokyo

If you think about alcoholic beverage in Japan, you will think sake first. Then, beer or shochu. Although many wines are imported to Japan, Japan is a producer of wine too.

Annual production of wine in Japan is 19 million liters and it is 26th in the world. However, the consumption is 16th in the world thanks to the population. Actually most of the wines bottles in Japan are made from imported grapes and produced by major Japanese alcoholic beverage companies. Therefore genuine Japanese wines made from Japanese grapes are not drunk so much.

Japanese government allows wines to use the name "Japanese wine" in case the wine is made from 100% Japanese grapes. The major prefectures which produce Japanese wines are Hokkaido, Yamagata, Yamanashi and Nagano. Three prefectures excluding Hokkaido are relatively have longer history to produce grapes in Japan, therefore the history of wine is longer too. History of wine in Hokkaido started in 1960s in town of Ikeda. Although the history is shorter than the wines in Honshu island, Ikeda town is nationwide known as the town of wine.

Wines are mostly drunk in restaurants which serve western cuisines, such as French or Italian cuisines but Japanese wines can be found more at restaurants which serve authentic Japanese cuisines. Due to Japanese wines are hardly could get outside of Japan, if you like wines, better to try Japanese wines during your stay in Japan. Then, please note many Japanese wines are mixed with several types of grapes and therefore better to ask your preference upon ordering the wine.

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