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Domestically made wine is expected to become a tourism resource going forwardDomestically made wine is expected to become a tourism resource going forward

Full-fledged wine production began in Japan from the latter half of the 19th century and wineries have since been constructed in various parts of the country, including mainly in Yamanashi and Hokkaido. For many years, wine with a higher sugar content and pleasant scent made from sweet grapes was popular, but in the 1970s consumption of authentic wine surpassed that of sweet wine.
Since the wine boom at the end of the 1990s, a huge variety of wines have been imported to Japan from around the world and the number of companies and individuals starting up production of domestically made wine is increasing.
In recent years, with improving wine quality and growing interest in wineries across Japan, there has been a boom in wine tourism, similar to Europe and the United States, where people visit wineries to enjoy a nice meal served with wine.

Map

Wineries are located in 23 locations across Hokkaido (as of January 2015). Many are concentrated in the Ishikari, Sorachi and Shiribeshi regions of Central Hokkaido. Wine is also produced in Ikeda Town of the Tokachi area and Nanae Town, Hakodate City, Otobe City, and Okushiri Town of Southern Hokkaido, Toyako Town of the Iburi region and Mashike Town of the Rumoi region.

 

■Map / Main producing municipalities
Ikeda Town, Furano City, Nanae Town, Otaru City, Yoichi Town, Toyako Town, Sapporo City, Mikasa Town, Iwamizawa City, Okushiri Town

Garnering attention from winemakers both in Japan and abroad

Hokkaido has the same climate as Germany and the Champagne region of France where wine grapes are cultivated. The combination of very little bad weather, cool and dry summers, and large temperature differences between day and night make Hokkaido an ideal location to grow European varietals.
This climate and the high quality wine grapes grown in huge numbers have put the spotlight on Hokkaido. There has been an increasing number of winemakers from Japan and abroad who are relocating to Hokkaido to start small-scale local wineries.
One of the attractions of Hokkaido’s wine country is also driving around to view the beautiful sight of wine fields and surrounding scenery.

Wine Family

  • Tokachi Wine (Ikeda Town Grape Wine Research Lab)
    The lab was the first municipally owned and operated facility to begin winemaking when in 1963 it used native mountain grapes to produce its first wine. Its brand Tokachi Wine is popular for its dry taste produced from sour grapes. Its wines made from proprietarily bred wine varietals are also quite popular.
  • Hokkaido Wine
    It 1972 it began cultivating wine grapes in the Tsurunuma area of Urausu Town. The winery grows only European varietals on its company-owned farm and also purchases wine grapes from fruit farmers mainly located in Hokkaido as part of its commitment to be a winery closely rooted in local agriculture.
  • Nippon Seishu Yoichi Winery
    This winery is located on an island off the southwest coast of Hokkaido. In 1999 it began producing wine from native mountain grapes, but today it cultivates European varietals, including Merlot, Chardonnay, and Pinot noir, too. In addition, it also crafts unique wines that feature a hint of the aroma of the sea.
  • Okushiri Winery
    This winery is located on an island off the southwest coast of Hokkaido. In 1999 it began producing wine from native mountain grapes, but today it cultivates European varietals, including Merlot, Chardonnay, and Pinot noir, too. In addition, it also crafts unique wines that feature a hint of the aroma of the sea.
  • Furano Wine (Furano City Grape and Fruit Research Lab)
    The Furano City Grape and Fruit Research Lab was first established in 1972. Two years later in 1974 it began trial cultivation of Sebel 13053 (red) and Sebel 5279 (white) varietals together with Hokkaido Prefecture and the Central Agricultural Experiment Station. Ever since it has produced the brand Furano Wine. Some of its wines are even scented with local lavender.
  • Tsukiura Winery
    Tsukiura Winery has produced wines from its own farm since 2000. Its main varietals include Muller-Thurgau and Dornfelder. The winery only produces a small vintage because of its focus on quality over quantity, and it has earned a strong reputation for its high quality.

Seasons

There are many types of wine made in Hokkaido and they can be purchased throughout the year. Many times the wines of popular wineries sell out quickly, so be sure to check with the wine shop before you go.

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•Seasons

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