Terroir|

Katsunuma|

In the early Meiji period (1868-1912), Japan's wine industry began in Katsunuma, Yamanashi Prefecture. Katsunuma is surrounded by high mountain such as Mount Fuji, the Southern Alps and the Chichibu mountains. It has a continental climate with four distinct seasons and large summer and winter temperature differences. Plentiful sunshine and soils with good water drainage have made it ideal for growing grapes since ancient times. The hilly areas of Toriihira and Hishiyama produce grapes with great concentration of flavours.

Hishiyama District

The Hishiyama district is the highest viticultural area in Katsunuma, situated between 500 and 600 metres above sea level. It has a complex topography with several small rivers, with scattered large granite rocks and gravelly clay soil. Although aspects and soil types of vineyards vary, the area is known for producing good quality white wine grapes and the resulting wines show the characteristic acidity and complexity of flavour of the region.

Toriihira District

The Toriihira district is a very small area on the south-western slopes of Mount Kashio at an altitude of around 450 metres. The grapes have remarkably concentrated flavours and have long been regarded as one of Katsunuma's best vineyards. With plenty of sunshine and cool breezes blowing down from the Sasago Pass, the area is blessed with a profound temperature difference between day and night, providing the perfect conditions for the grapes to ripen well. The gravelly, well-drained, clayey soils result in grapes with robust flavour that is reflected in the depth of the wines.

Terroir|

Akeno|

Misawa Vineyard

Located at 700m above sea level in Akeno town, Hokuto City, Yamanashi Prefecture, Akeno enjoys views of the Southern Alps to the west, Mount Kayagatake to the east, Mount Yatsugatake to the north and Mount Fuji to the south. With the mountains blocking out the rain clouds, the vineyard boasts the longest sunshine hours in Japan. The cool climate of the highlands and the abundance of sunshine nurture the ripeness of the grapes, resulting in an exceptional balance between structured acidity and concentrated fruit.

The foothills of Mount Kayagatake (Hokuto City)

Kayagatake is known as the final resting place of Hisaya Fukada, the author of "One Hundred Famous Mountains of Japan". The Koshu grape is grown at the foothill of the mountain at an altitude of between 400m and 700m, including our company-managed vineyards. It is 40 km northwest of Katsunuma, and the different climatic and soil characteristics of the region produce the most delicate Koshu in Grace Wine's Koshu range.

Viticulture and Winemaking|

Koshu|

Koshu is a white grape variety indigenous to Japan, belonging to the Vitis vinifera species, the ancestors of the grapes used to make wine. How Koshu, which originated in the distant South Caucasus, arrived in Japan remains a mystery to this day, but after more than a thousand years, rather than falling out of favour but rather greatly treasured, it is a grape variety dear to the hearts of winemakers born and bred in Yamanashi.
In 2010, it became the first grape variety indigenous to Japan to be included as a registered grape variety of the International Organisation of Vines and Wines (O.I.V.), allowing it to appear as a varietal name on labels.

Viticulture and Winemaking|

Viticulture|

Vertical Shoot Positioning

We began experimenting with Koshu vertical shoot positioning planting in 1990, and in 2005 we began full-scale production at Misawa Vineyard. At present, plantings reach 4 hectares. The resulting Koshu grape berries are smaller, have higher sugar contents and contain more malic acid than the traditional Koshu grown on pergolas.
This allows malo-lactic fermentation to occur naturally, something which seldom happens to conventionally-grown Koshu, and which gives the resulting wine a unique character.

High-ridge cultivation

At the suggestion of Professor Cobbs Hunter of the Stellenbosch Graduate School in South Africa, we have adopted the high-ridge cultivation system.
By growing grapes in a way that discharges more water from the soil, leading to mild water stress, we were able to harvest grapes with remarkable quality and great flavour concentration.
Three other varieties, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc are planted using the same method.

Viticulture and Winemaking|

Manual artistry|

At Grace Wines, grapes for all the wines are harvested by hand, and we ensure that the grapes are perfect and not damaged before vinification by using small harvest crates. The selection of the grapes, the riddling of the sparkling wines, from grape growing to vinification, all receive thorough attention to details, and we make wines that value the meticulous craftmanship peculiar to the Japanese people.

Viticulture and Winemaking|

Typicity|

We challenge ourselves to achieve the aim of producing wines that express the typical characters of the region, without resorting to technical prowess such as sugar or acidity adjustments.

Massal Selection

In order to express the typical characters of the region in our wines, we carry out massal selection. We select the vines and branches that produce the ideal fruit and plant the cuttings ourselves. In this way we can make wines that respect the personality of each vineyard. The cuttings are carefully looked after from the earliest stage of the growth, until harvest, which are being closely monitored as well.

Indigenous yeasts

In 2020, we became the first winery in Japan to start using indigenous yeasts from the vineyards.
In addition to using the pure indigenous yeasts from the grape skins during winemaking, we have also incorporated yeasts from the soil and as well as the flowers in the vineyards, with the aim of producing wines which emphasizes the individuality of the land.

Viticulture and Winemaking|

The quest for quality and long-term ageing|

Whether it is our sparkling wines with long ageing potential made using second fermentation in bottle, or our flagship wines produced only in the best years, at the heart of Grace Wines is an uncompromising commitment to longevity. In our underground wine cellars, we wait patiently for our wines to be shipped.
We would like all our wines to express a consistent, authentic and fine beauty.

Viticulture and Winemaking|

Environmentally friendly viticulture|

We grow our grapes without using herbicides or chemical fertilisers. In 2016, we started to try our hand at organic viticulture. For the European varieties and Koshu, we aim to combine high quality viticulture with sustainability.
We lessen the weight of our wine bottles in order to reduce industrial waste, pruning carbonisation trials (4-per-mille initiative), and the reuse of rainwater are just some of the ways in which we will continue our winemaking in an environmentally friendly way.

In the early Meiji period (1868-1912), Japan's wine industry began in Katsunuma, Yamanashi Prefecture. Katsunuma is surrounded by high mountain such as Mount Fuji, the Southern Alps and the Chichibu mountains. It has a continental climate with four distinct seasons and large summer and winter temperature differences. Plentiful sunshine and soils with good water drainage have made it ideal for growing grapes since ancient times. The hilly areas of Toriihira and Hishiyama produce grapes with great concentration of flavours.

Hishiyama District

The Hishiyama district is the highest viticultural area in Katsunuma, situated between 500 and 600 metres above sea level. It has a complex topography with several small rivers, with scattered large granite rocks and gravelly clay soil. Although aspects and soil types of vineyards vary, the area is known for producing good quality white wine grapes and the resulting wines show the characteristic acidity and complexity of flavour of the region.

Toriihira District

The Toriihira district is a very small area on the south-western slopes of Mount Kashio at an altitude of around 450 metres. The grapes have remarkably concentrated flavours and have long been regarded as one of Katsunuma's best vineyards. With plenty of sunshine and cool breezes blowing down from the Sasago Pass, the area is blessed with a profound temperature difference between day and night, providing the perfect conditions for the grapes to ripen well. The gravelly, well-drained, clayey soils result in grapes with robust flavour that is reflected in the depth of the wines.

Misawa Vineyard

Located at 700m above sea level in Akeno town, Hokuto City, Yamanashi Prefecture, Akeno enjoys views of the Southern Alps to the west, Mount Kayagatake to the east, Mount Yatsugatake to the north and Mount Fuji to the south. With the mountains blocking out the rain clouds, the vineyard boasts the longest sunshine hours in Japan. The cool climate of the highlands and the abundance of sunshine nurture the ripeness of the grapes, resulting in an exceptional balance between structured acidity and concentrated fruit.

The foothills of Mount Kayagatake (Hokuto City)

Kayagatake is known as the final resting place of Hisaya Fukada, the author of "One Hundred Famous Mountains of Japan". The Koshu grape is grown at the foothill of the mountain at an altitude of between 400m and 700m, including our company-managed vineyards. It is 40 km northwest of Katsunuma, and the different climatic and soil characteristics of the region produce the most delicate Koshu in Grace Wine's Koshu range.

Koshu is a white grape variety indigenous to Japan, belonging to the Vitis vinifera species, the ancestors of the grapes used to make wine. How Koshu, which originated in the distant South Caucasus, arrived in Japan remains a mystery to this day, but after more than a thousand years, rather than falling out of favour but rather greatly treasured, it is a grape variety dear to the hearts of winemakers born and bred in Yamanashi.
In 2010, it became the first grape variety indigenous to Japan to be included as a registered grape variety of the International Organisation of Vines and Wines (O.I.V.), allowing it to appear as a varietal name on labels.

Vertical Shoot Positioning

We began experimenting with Koshu vertical shoot positioning planting in 1990, and in 2005 we began full-scale production at Misawa Vineyard. At present, plantings reach 4 hectares. The resulting Koshu grape berries are smaller, have higher sugar contents and contain more malic acid than the traditional Koshu grown on pergolas.
This allows malo-lactic fermentation to occur naturally, something which seldom happens to conventionally-grown Koshu, and which gives the resulting wine a unique character.

High-ridge cultivation

At the suggestion of Professor Cobbs Hunter of the Stellenbosch Graduate School in South Africa, we have adopted the high-ridge cultivation system.
By growing grapes in a way that discharges more water from the soil, leading to mild water stress, we were able to harvest grapes with remarkable quality and great flavour concentration.
Three other varieties, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc are planted using the same method.

At Grace Wines, grapes for all the wines are harvested by hand, and we ensure that the grapes are perfect and not damaged before vinification by using small harvest crates. The selection of the grapes, the riddling of the sparkling wines, from grape growing to vinification, all receive thorough attention to details, and we make wines that value the meticulous craftmanship peculiar to the Japanese people.

We challenge ourselves to achieve the aim of producing wines that express the typical characters of the region, without resorting to technical prowess such as sugar or acidity adjustments.

Massal Selection

In order to express the typical characters of the region in our wines, we carry out massal selection. We select the vines and branches that produce the ideal fruit and plant the cuttings ourselves. In this way we can make wines that respect the personality of each vineyard. The cuttings are carefully looked after from the earliest stage of the growth, until harvest, which are being closely monitored as well.

Indigenous yeasts

In 2020, we became the first winery in Japan to start using indigenous yeasts from the vineyards.
In addition to using the pure indigenous yeasts from the grape skins during winemaking, we have also incorporated yeasts from the soil and as well as the flowers in the vineyards, with the aim of producing wines which emphasizes the individuality of the land.

Whether it is our sparkling wines with long ageing potential made using second fermentation in bottle, or our flagship wines produced only in the best years, at the heart of Grace Wines is an uncompromising commitment to longevity. In our underground wine cellars, we wait patiently for our wines to be shipped.
We would like all our wines to express a consistent, authentic and fine beauty.

We grow our grapes without using herbicides or chemical fertilisers. In 2016, we started to try our hand at organic viticulture. For the European varieties and Koshu, we aim to combine high quality viticulture with sustainability.
We lessen the weight of our wine bottles in order to reduce industrial waste, pruning carbonisation trials (4-per-mille initiative), and the reuse of rainwater are just some of the ways in which we will continue our winemaking in an environmentally friendly way.