中央葡萄酒 山梨 甲州 グレイス ワイン
 

Established in 1923.
A family-owned winery

Our winery started in 1923, when first generation Chotaro Misawa came to Katsunuma Village in Yamanashi Prefecture and launched his “Chotaro” label wine. Our Japanese Zelkova tree planted in the same year is now much taller than the winery building itself, watching over us and our winemaking day and night.

中央葡萄酒 山梨 甲州 グレイス ワイン ヒストリー
 

Our third-generation owner, the diligent Kazuo Misawa, was a banker before he returned to take up the family winery. Kazuo entered the Tokyo Commercial University (now Hitotsubashi University) a year earlier than usual age, graduated and joined the Kobe branch of the Industrial Bank of Japan (now Mizuho Financial Group). There he learnt to be member of the society and was trained by his superior Sohei Nakayama, who was the lead figure in the Japanese financial world at that time. Kazuo developed a clear image of wine duing those years. He established “Chuo Budoushu” in 1953 when he returned to the family and named the wines “GRACE”.

中央葡萄酒 山梨 甲州 グレイス ワイン ヒストリー
 

“Grace” originates from the “Three Graces” in Greek mythology. Although at that time, Koshu was not yet scientifically recognised as a vitis vinifera (aka “wine grape”), Kazuo treasured its noble aromas. Even today, the first wines crafted by our third-generation keeper, “GRACE 1957”, are still peacefully resting in the cellar.

中央葡萄酒 山梨 甲州 グレイス ワイン ヒストリー
 

Furthermore, Kazuo mingled well with his neighbourhood, always thinking about the life of his fellow Katsunuma grape growers. Once a customer came by, saw Kazuo in his casual clothing and a straw hat in front of the winery weeding the grass, said to him “Hey pal, hot today, isn’t it?”. The spirit of Grace, striving for class and elegance, stays alive until this day even after Kazuo passed away.

 

In 1961, one of our wines (now the “Vin of Shugoro”) was featured as a “discovered gem” in novelist Shugoro Yamamoto’s essay collection “Bento in the Dark”.

中央葡萄酒 山梨 甲州 グレイス ワイン ヒストリー
 

Shigekazu Misawa, our 4th generation owner, worked for Mitsubishi Corporation after graduating in applied chemistry at Tokyo Institute of Technology. However, rural issues constantly bothered him, prompting him to return to his family business in 1982. In 1987, Shigekazu, who established the wineries club with 12 young winemakers in Katsunuma Village and became the first executive director, pleaded with his fellow partners to cherish Koshu.

As a winemaker, Shigekazu, who became the owner in 1989, was first to vinify Koshu by producing regions, and produced “Grace Koshu Hishiyama” and “Grace Koshu Toriibira ” from particularly excellent plots among them. While continuing to pursue the possibilities of Koshu using spur-pruned bilateral cordon as well as seedlings, Shigekazu created our flagship wine “Cuvée Misawa” with not only Koshu but in addition, with international varieties such as Chardonnay and Merlot.

中央葡萄酒 山梨 甲州 グレイス ワイン ヒストリー
 

In 2002, we opened the Misawa Vineyard in Hokuto City, Akeno Village, which boasts the longest sunshine hours in Japan. “Cuvée Misawa Akeno Koshu 2013” became the first Japanese wine to win a Gold medal in the World’s largest wine competition Decanter World Wine Awards. It makes one recall watching the dazzling moment of Koshu standing on the world stage.

中央葡萄酒 山梨 甲州 グレイス ワイン ヒストリー
 

Grace Wine, as Japan’s leading winery, has played a crucial role in the development of the Japanese wine industry.
In 2009, 15 wineries of Yamanashi formed the “Koshu of Japan”(KOJ), and the 4th generation Shigekazu became the chairman. KOJ aims to improve the quality of Koshu, delimit the production region, and acquire an appropriate position in the marketplace. KOJ conducts promotional activities in London, the hub of the world wine market.

中央葡萄酒 山梨 甲州 グレイス ワイン ヒストリー
 

At the front line, Shigekazu Misawa’s eldest daughter, Ayana, came back to Japan in 2007 after finishing her studies in France and South Africa.

Even after returning to Japan, Ayana had worked vintages for 6 years at wineries in the Southern Hemisphere such as Australia, New Zealand, Chile, and Argentina, and as a result of continuing efforts to improve quality, “Grace Blanc de Blancs 2014” was chosen as one of the “Top 10 Wines of 2019” on Bloomberg, pushing Grace Wine beyond the “Japanese wine” framework, into the unique flavour realm of its own.

中央葡萄酒 山梨 甲州 グレイス ワイン ヒストリー
 
1923 ・Founded by Chotaro Misawa in Katsunuma Village in Yamanashi
1953 ・The third-generation Kazuo Misawa named the wines “GRACE” after the “Three Graces” of Greek mythology
1961 ・Shugoro Yamamoto, an eminent novelist, introduced Grace’s fortified wine in one of his essay collections
1987 ・Shigekazu Misawa, the fourth-generation, established the “Katsunuma Wineries Club”, which consisted of 12 next generation winemakers from local wineries
1989 ・Shigekazu Misawa became president of the winery.
1998 ・”Koshu Barrel 1997” won The Best Japanese White Wine trophy in the Japan International Wine Challenge.
2000 ・”Grace Koshu” was introduced in the UK’s “Financial Times”.
・”Grace Koshu” was characterised as the archetypal Japanese wine in the “World Atlas of Wine”.
2002 ・New estate vineyard Misawa Vineyard in Akeno Village was established and covers 12 ha.
2004 ・Mr. Robert Parker Jr. paid a visit to GRACE Winery
2008 ・”Grace Chardonnay 2007” were portrayed in the comic series “The Drops of God” (published by Kodansha).
2009 ・Koshu of Japan (KOJ), an organization of Japanese wine producers from Yamanashi Prefecture was established to improve the quality and increase the awareness of Koshu in global markets.
2010 ・ KOJ launched a campaign in the UK as the first step towardsan EU-wide promotion.
・“Koshu” was officially recognised by the International Organisation of Vine and Wine (O.I.V.).
・”Grace Chardonnay 2008” was listed as “Best Buy Wines” in the “Australian Gourmet Traveller” magazine.
2013 ・”Grace Gris de Koshu 2012” was the first Asian wine to win both a Regional trophy and a Gold medal in the Decanter Asia Wine Awards.
2014 ・” Cuvée Misawa Akeno Koshu 2013” became the first Japanese wine to win a Regional trophy and Gold medal in the Decanter World Wine Awards.
2015 ・Launched”La Rencontre 2012”, a wine produced in collaboration with Mr. Thibault Despagne of Girolate and Chateau Mont-Perat.
2016 ・”Grace Extra Brut 2011” won a Platinum award in the Decanter World Wine Awards.
2017 ・Grace Koshu 2016 won a Platinum award in the Decanter World Wine Awards.
2018 ・Grace Koshu 2017 won a Gold award in the Decanter World Wine Awards.
2019 ・Grace Koshu 2018 won a Gold award in the Decanter World Wine Awards.
・Grace Extra Brut 2014 was selected as one of the “Top 10 wines of 2019” by Ms. Elin McCoy at Bloomberg
https://www.bloomberg.com/amp/news/articles/2019-12-24/best-wines-of-2019-from-bordeaux-to-japan

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