The region where Japan’s first wine was made.
Katsunuma is located in the central Yamanashi. This area, where the greatest amount of grapes in Japan are harvested, is also the birthplace of Japanese wine. In the 1870s, a lone young man raised in Katsunuma was dispatched to France to learn winemaking; from this small start, over 80 wineries came to be established in Katsunuma. For some 150 years, they have continued to study and refine their product to cultivate truly Japanese wine flavors.
Wines that pair well even with sushi and tempura.
The wines crafted in Yamanashi are generally called “Koshu wines.” To put briefly what makes them so distinct, it is that they pair well with Japanese cuisine. A refreshing acidity and clean flavor is the perfect match for sushi, sashimi and tempura, in addition to Western cuisine. Japan’s unique Koshu variety of grapes are mainly used. Although people tend to think of white wines when they think of Koshu wines, reds produced using the Muscat Bailey A grape are also popular. In just the Katsunuma area alone, one can find well over 200 wine brands.
Visit Katsunuma’s wineries to enjoy wine tasting.
If you would like to see Japanese winemaking for yourself, there’s nothing better than visiting one of Katsunuma’s wineries. Katsunuma Winery, visually striking thanks to its Japanese tile roof and mortar walls, was established in 1937. Managing the entire wine production process from grape cultivation to fermentation, this top example of Katsunuma wineries was awarded a silver medal in a French international wine contest in 2004. Visitors to the winery are given a guided tour of the grape farm and wine cellar by the same staff who makes the wine; at the end of the tour, you can taste and compare various wines in their tasting room. It will be sure to be an extravagant experience where you will be able to fully enjoy some of Japan’s best domestic wines.
- 371 Shimoiwasaki, Katsunuma-cho, Koshu-shi, Yamanashi-ken
- Opening hours
- 10:00 A.M. to 4:00 P.M.
- New Year’s Eve and New Year period
- Staff tour guide course from 2,000 yen; tasting course 500 yen (reservation required)
- JR Shinjuku Station is 30 minutes by shuttle bus from Haneda Airport. JR Katsunuma-budokyo Station is about 2 hours via the JR Chuo Line from JR Shinjuku Station. Katsunuma Winery is about 10 minutes by taxi from JR Katsunuma-budokyo Station.