Misawa Vineyard in Akeno, Yamanashi-prefecture
Akeno-town in Hokuto-city, Yamanashi-prefecture has the longest hours of sunlight in Japan. It is located at the foot of Mt. Kayagatake and it is a sloped landscape at an altitude of 700 meters. Akeno-town faces the Southern Alps
mountain range to the west, Mt. Yatsugatake to the north, and Mt. Fuji to the south. In such a scenic area, we have our own vineyard “Misawa Vineyard”, which is the main body of our company, Chuo Budoshu. The total area of the vineyard with the hedging system is 12 hectares. The area specified for European varieties which opened in April 2002 has already been established successfully, and in the other area specified for Koshu, which was constructed in 2009, they completed planting and started harvesting. A number of different kinds of wine, which are to represent Japan, are about to be produced from here.
Character of Misawa Vineyard
The greatest characteristic of Misawa Vineyard in Yamanashi-prefecture is the excellent ripening of grapes achieved by its natural conditions such as long exposure to sunlight, the suitable temperature from its latitude and altitude, and the south wind that blows through the vineyard. This characteristic combined with our continuous efforts for the vine cultivation, which started from preparing the soil, contributes to our produce of unique high-quality wine grapes.
In the process of the construction of the vineyard, we ensured the good water drainage with inclination, underdrains, high ridge system and so on. Mainly each grape vine is planted 1 meter apart and we adopted the single Guyot system and the double cordon, and also set up the Smart Japan system for fruit part that we developed together with Dr. Richard Smart from Australia. As we value a sustainability point of view, we adopt the cultivation policy that enables us to pursue the improvement in the quality and the efficiency of our produce.
■Vineyard for the high hilling experiment
As Professor Kobus Hunter from South Africa suggested, we constructed a 20- are vineyard for the high hilling experiment in 2005 for the purpose of improving the quality of grapes by the effect of water drainage and preparing soil. At the vineyard, we planted Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc and we have had good results of successful growth of the grapevines and harvesting enriched high-quality grapes.
■The cultivation of Koshu with Vertical Shoot Positioning
We started the very first authentic cultivation of Koshu with Vertical Shoot Positioning in Japan in 2009. Its size has grown up to 4 hectares at present.
Introduction of cultivated grape varieties
European black grape varieties 1
We cultivate 4 varieties from Bordeaux area such as Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. With our main produce Merlot, its wine of 2006 from Akeno won “The Best Japanese Wine Award” for the first time, which led us to see the great potential of Akeno.
European black grape varieties 2
Cabernet Sauvignon is the variety that gets the most benefit from Akeno’s terroir. Cabernet Sauvignon is a late-ripening kind and its harvest starts in the beginning of November, which enables it to absorb all the sunlight until the end of October and it ripens richly and incomparably. We have no doubt that wine made from these grapes is going to represent Grace in the future.
European white grape varieties
About one third of the whole European varieties we cultivate are Chardonnay and we adjust the cultivation method in accordance with the types of wine it is made into, such as wine to mature in wooden barrels, non-oaked wine with fresh flavors, sparking wine and so on. It is gaining a high evaluation as it has been introduced in the comic series “Drops of God” and been also highly rated overseas.
Based on the results of the cultivation of Koshu with Vertical Shoot Positioning restarted in 2005 and those of the vineyard for high hilling experiment, we started the authentic cultivation of Koshu with Vertical Shoot Positioning at our new vineyard with high hilling thoroughly in 2009. It is thought to be difficult to cultivate Koshu with Vertical Shoot Positioning because of its strong vine vigor but we are starting to succeed in it and the revolutionary quality of the wine is already attracting attention.