||Chuo Budoshu Co., Ltd.
173 Todoroki Katsunuma-cho,
Yamanashi, 409-1315 Japan
Grace Winery, (company name “Chuo Budoshu” in Japanese) was established in 1923 in Katsunuma, the birthplace of Japan’s wine industry and today the wine hub of Japan.
Our brand name "Grace Wine" is named after the Three Graces.
We believe good wines come from grapes which bear the characters of the place they originated from. We make constant effort to improve how grapes are grown in order to enhance their quality. After successful attempts as pioneers to adopt Vertical Shoot Positioning for Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay in 1990 in order to enhance flavour concentration, we expanded our vineyard holdings and applied the same techniques to Merlot and Petit Verdot. In 2002, we added to our portfolio the Misawa vineyard which employs the same grape-growing philosophy.
Our Koshu grapes, the signature grape variety of Japan, are grown along the mountainous area of the region, which bring to us wines with more concentration and minerality.
It is Grace’s vision to always bring the highest quality wines and the joy of wine drinking to you.
President of Grace winery
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The History of Koshu in Japan Koshu
Koshu, first cultivated more than 1,000 years ago in the Caucasus Region in Asia Minor, came to Japan together with Buddhism via the Silk Road through China. It localised itself and became native to Japan. When winemaking started in Japan in 1874, it quickly became not only the main, but also the most important variety.
Koshu bears a purplish-pink fruit. According to researches performed by the University of California, it is predominantly (over 90%) vitis vinifera, the European wine grape.
Thanks to the favourable location and climatic conditions, Katsunuma, in the Yamanashi prefecture, is the perfect breeding ground of Koshu. Katsunuma is an inland valley bearing a classic valley climate which enjoys long hours of sunshine, diurnal temperature variation and relatively little rain, conditions paramount for growing quality wine grapes.
Furthermore, Katsunuma is flanked by mountain water sources flowing into the valley, essential for the sometimes very warm summer weather. Soils are porous, which enables deep root penetration and good drainage.
We believe in the potential of Koshu
Only quality grapes from good climate and soils can produce good wines. We have spent considerable efforts in identifying premium sites such as Toriibira and Hishiyama, where high elevation concentrates grape flavours. We vinify grapes from different vineyards separately in order to preserve place characteristics to the maximum.
Viticulture makes all the differences! Koshu is traditionally trained along canes and grown on pergolas in order to avoid the high summer humidity. This gives very high yields and grapes with diluted flavours. In Toriibira, after long period of experimentation, we planted our Koshu along long cordons, resulting in lower yields, more balanced vines and more concentrated flavours. In 1992, we ventured one step further to improve our grapes by moving to the more densely spaced Vertical Shoot Positioning training method.
In addition, we have engaged ourselves starting 12 years ago in an ambitious project of trying to identify the original Koshu which was planted more than 1,000 years ago. We were brave enough to cultivate Koshu directly from seeds. This is so different from planting using stock vines! This is much more unpredictable on the one hand but so much more interesting on the other because it gives characteristics not found in the Koshu known to us until now. It is said there is only one in ten thousand chances we will succeed in identifying the original Koshu, but the bio-diversity that results from this project will be valuable as a first step in improving Koshu in the long term.
Cane pruning - traditional training
Long cordon – grapes bear on spur
with lower yields and more
We tried to look through each of them
in order to identify the original Koshu
planted more than 1,000 years ago.
the label : made from 100% Koshu grapes grown in Katsunuma
12.0% alcohol by volume
dry and sur-lie
Almost transparent, brilliantly clear
Fresh, delicate grapefruit and lemon aromas with a white floral touch and nuances of lemongrass.
Dry, crisp, delicate, light-bodied, fresh and fruity. Soft and subtle in the mouth, lively citrus acidity, balanced by a spicy note of white pepper, which lingers in the mouth. A pure, ephemeral sensation.
"Grace Koshu is our signature white wine. We let it rest on its lies for five months before bottling, which gives an extra dimension of richness, and which enables the preservation of its delicate aromas. The fine and delicate characteristics of the wine makes it the perfect match with all kinds of Japanese cuisine.
This is attested in various occasions in London in the past two years by the critical acclaims Grace Koshu received during wine events attended by well-known food and wine critics.
Grace Koshu is also referred to as a representative wine of Japan in the 5th edition of the “The World Atlas of Wine” co-authored by the veritable Hugh Johnson and Jancis Robinson.
Robert Parker in the US, various Masters of Wines and Jamie Goode in the UK have shown enthusiastic appreciation of our wine, as well the Financial Times in the UK.
Through our effort of improving both the grape quality and winemaking, Grace Koshu Kayagatake 2010 finally succeeded in obtaining a Silver Medal in the Decanter World Wine Awards 2011 (DWWA2011), which is the first prize for Koshu in overseas competitions.