Monday, September 3, 2012

Made in Japan

The big bosses are off to Japan today, so I thought this would be a good opportunity to share some information about Japanese wine.

For me when I think of Japan and booze I go straight to sake or whiskey (they make some lovely whiskeys!), as I would assume, most people do. But in recent years, Japan has been engineering its own customized wines and even has its own classification scheme.

Did you know.....

Japan created its own varietal!?  Muscat Bailey A is a black grape hyrbid between Bailey (I'm guessing is an American varietal) and Muscat Hamburg.  It is now widely used throughout Japan due to its adaptability to Japan's climate.

Wines are produced in Hokaido and Yamanashi Prefecture

In 1995, total vineyard in Japan is 23,000 ha and produce about 250,000 t grapes. Only 8% of them was used for winemaking.

Only holders of license issued by the Ministry of Finance are permitted to make wine. Now there are about 230 wineries in Japan. Top 3 wineries are MERCIAN, SUNTORY and SAPPORO.

'Mark of Origin' is Japan's system of legal distinction for wines. Unlike most other systems in the world, they do not set limites of varietal specifications, domain or origin of grape, etc.  Anything fermented domestically can be labelled 'Japanese Wine.'  

Have any of you ever tried some??

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