【 CONTENTS 】
- You can’t help but to drink it! Katsunuma is famous as a winemaking region
- You can taste more than 200 kinds of wine!
- Let’s go to the winery!
- Koshu malted beef and Katsunuma wine is the best combination.
- A starry sky in the wine cellar!?
- Find your favorite wine.
You can’t help but to drink it! Katsunuma is famous as a winemaking region
From Shinjuku station, we took the Express Kaiji and local trains for about an hour and a half. When you arrive at the “Katsunuma Budokyo” station (勝沼ぶどう郷駅) on the hill, you can see the magnificent scenery of the Kofu Basin, Japan Alps, and vineyards.
In the 19th century, two young boys from the Katsunuma, Kosyu region went to France to study wine producing and shortly after their return, Katsunuma became a famous winemaking region in Japan. Today, there are more than 30 wineries! So, let’s go on a Katsunuma winery tour!
You can taste more than 200 kinds of wine!
First of all, we headed to “Katsunuma Budo no oka ”(勝沼ぶどうの丘).
If you walk along the cherry‐tree‐lined path, and pass the vineyards and houses, you’ll see a winery up on the hill.
Buying a “Tastevin” for 1100 yen will allow you to taste all the wines stored underground! There are 200 kinds of Koshu regional wines with about 20 thousand bottles in total. There are Japanese specialty wines like, “Muscat berry A” and “Koshu” wines made using the “Sur Lie” technique. The tastevin is valid for one day. There are hot springs and hotels located in the area, so you can enjoy tasting wine in between other activities. I must say it’s the best place for wine lovers!
※Muscat berry A：A kind of wine which uses hybridized and Muscat berries. It’s often fruity and light.
※Koshu：It has more than 1000 years of history with grapes brought from the Caucasus region. It lightly sour with a slightly sweet taste.
※Sur Lie production：The aging process of allowing a finished wine to continue to sit on the lees over the winter season in order to extract flavors. It has a freshly fruity and sharp taste.
Let’s go to the winery!
After finding your favorite wine at “Budo no oka,” you can visit the winery where your favorite wine is produced! Wineries are concentrated around Katsunuma, so you can get a taxi or even go by foot.
◇The first shop we visited was the “Katsunuma Grace Winery,”（中央葡萄酒) established in 1923. The showroom is on the second floor in a historic building covered with ivy. There are many awarded wines here that are exported abroad.
We tasted their recommended wines such as the Grace Koshu and Serena.
We were getting a little light-headed….
◇Next, we went to the winery, “Chateau Jun” operated by the fashion brand JUN.
The European like building has white walls with an orange roof and inside the shop, there’s JUN apparel available for purchase. The owner welcomed us with a smile. Enjoying conversation with him with a bit of tipsiness was the best part of this trip.
Koshu malted beef and Katsunuma wine is the best combination.
Our travel continues! We dropped by a restaurant to have lunch so that we wouldn’t get too tipsy. The most popular French restaurant in the local area, the “BISTRO Mille Printemps” has high ceilings and plenty of space. The seat beside the window is especially recommended because you can see the vineyards and mountains from there. Nothing beats freshly harvested local vegetables and beefsteak from cows fed with whisky lees and beer lees of the Koshu region! We, of course, chose the “3 kinds of wine from Koshu” set. In fact, the owner was a sommelier from an old French restaurant in Ginza. His choice is never wrong! We had such a luxurious time with tasty cuisines and beautiful wine.
A starry sky in the wine cellar!?
Our journey comes to an end. Lastly, we visited “Marufuji Winery,”（丸藤葡萄酒工業）which has more than 120 years of history spanning over 4 generations.
It’s a small winery and production is small because their wines are neatly produced one by one with customers all over Japan.
In the cold aisle, there is cask matured wine and an art gallery.
When we went deeper in and after passing the maturing bottles, we found that the wall was shining like a starry sky.
This is the tartar of the wine!
It was originally a concrete tank that stored wines and the tartar on the wall was a token of the fermentation. Isn’t it romantic to think that it’s crystal from wine matured long ago?
Find your favorite wine.
I found a wine that was made in my birth year. Actually, this trip was for my birthday and I never expected to find a wine that was made in my birth year on my birthday! I felt a kind of connection. You never know when you’ll find a good wine. Why not go to Katsunuma to find your keeper? You may find the best wine you’ve ever had!
Katsunuma Grace Winery
Katsunuma Budo no Oka
BISTRO Mille Printemps
3052 Hishiyama, Katsunuma cho, Kosyu city, Yamanashi Pref.