Another Asian country is looking to enter the world wine stage as Japan’s largest producer plans to expand.
Most of the wine produced in Japan is consumed locally, however the country wants to be competitive on the world stage as recent news shows. Mercian plans on doubling its growing area and developing more grower contracts. Mercian is a subsidiary of Kirin and currently grows Koshu, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Marlot, Syrah and Muscat Bailey A.
Japan is a fledgling in the wine community but appears to be on the right track by pushing for wine made with grapes only grown in Japan and setting up a system of labeling and laws that would be similar to appellations. This shows that the government and producers are educated and ready to be taken seriously.
While wine consumption in Japan is lower than other places, it has increased and research points that it will continue to grow as citizens become more exposed to wine.
Historically, Japan has made sake, a rice wine served either hot or cold. The foray into grapes started in the mid-19th century as Western culture was introduced to the East. Grape wine was traditionally imported, with domestic plum wine being popular and used both as a traditional wine and in mixed drinks or over ice. Recent years, however, show developments in the acceptance of wine including The University of Yamanashi developing a wine curriculum.
If you’re interested in being on the forefront of wines from around the world, Japan is definitely the place to watch as they prepare to make their presence known.