Koshu Misawa Vineyard
01 KOSHU MISAWA VINEYARD

Koshu Misawa Vineyard

VINTAGE 2021

"Cuvée Misawa Akeno Koshu" was born from the belief in Koshu's potential, not needing to rely on conventional vinification techniques such as chaptalisation, acid adjustments and sur lie, which were deemed necessary. The wine was reborn as a new "wine of terroir" after further research - the "Koshu Misawa Vineyard".

Koshu grapes grown at the Misawa Vineyard yield less than 30 hl/ha. They are harvested separately by parcel and sometimes even by vine, and then vinified using indigenous yeasts from the vineyard. Malolactic fermentation, which is rare for Koshu, occurs naturally, giving the wine a taste that is distinctly different from previous Koshu wines. With its full-bodied aroma and soft, complex depth, this is a wine that has the potential to age well.

Detail

Basic Data

Production area
Misawa Vineyard, Akeno town (cho), Yamanashi Prefecture
Grape variety
Koshu
Altitude
700m
Soil
Clayey volcanic ash
Vinification
Hand-harvest, gentle, long press. Spontaneous fermentation with indigenous yeasts, followed by malolactic fermentation and maturation in stainless steel tanks or old French oak barrels for 7 months.
Type
White
Palate
Dry
Best to drink
2024+

Vintage

2021

March to May was blessed with good weather, with light to moderate rain and low to reasonable sunshine. Budding started off quickly, kicking off steady growth. The rainy season in June was also mild, with no diseases, and fruit set went well. The rainy season concluded 16 days earlier, sunny weather continued, and maturity started at the end of July. There was some stagnation due to heavy rain, lack of light, and low temperature in mid-August, but good weather continued from late August onwards, and the delay brought about by the cool summer was recovered. October was most peculiar. Temperature was high nationwide, but temperature differences between day and night were large. A patient wait for maturation was paid off with a satisfactory harvest.

2020

The warm winter gave way to spring and budburst went well. With good rainfall and plenty of sunshine, flowering and fruit set went well. The rainy season brought long rains and lack of sunshine, slowing down the growth of the grapes, but with proper pest control and rain shade application, only minor damages were sustained. Summer came following the end of the rainy season, bringing fine weather, seeming to compensate for the earlier lack of sunshine. The delayed ripening of the grapes gradually recovered, with the start of Koshu harvest on par with previous years. Autumn rains in September and Typhoon no. 14 in October put us on high alert until the latter half of harvest. However, with the management of grapes to suitable ripeness, while removing infected berries, we were able to gather healthy grapes for vinification.

2019

Vine growth went smoothly from April to June, with little rain and plenty of sunlight. In other parts of the Yamanashi prefecture, there were rainy days in July, and August was cloudy, but the influence on Misawa Vineyard was limited, and impact on grapes was minimized via proper management. In September, the lingering summer heat was scorching, and fine weather persisted, enabling the slowed maturity period due to the late arrival of summer to catch up. Record typhoons and heavy rains struck the Japanese archipelago from mid- to late October, but fortunately damage was modest, and we were able to wait for proper ripening before harvest. After rigorous selection in the vineyard, fermentation and maturation occurred in stainless steel tanks. The 2019 Koshu has high acidity overall, and a firm finish with tension. This wine represents the culmination of our love for Koshu through generations and is one we want to entrust the future of Japanese wine with.

2018

The rainy season concluded by the end of June, and maturity progressed earlier than usual. Koshu in 2018 yielded less than 20 hl/ha. After rigorous selection in the vineyard at the time of harvest, it is fermented and stored in stainless steel tanks.

2017

In 2017, rainfall was very low during both the early summer and the rainy season, bringing positive effects to flowering and fruiting, which led to natural yield restrictions. We recall we were expecting a great vintage. The blue summer sky spreaded throughout August. In September, temperature differences between day and night exceeded 20 degrees Celsius.
Although there were two typhoons in October, the growing season was able to capitalise on the earlier weather advantages, and by pinpointing the timing of maturity and harvest, it resulted in an ideal vintage showing the uniqueness of the vintage characteristics.

2016

The warm winter continued to Spring, temperature remained higher than usual, budding in 2016 started earliest in memory. In May, temperature continued to be above normal, with abundant sunshine hours, promoting shoot growth and a very early bloom.
The worrying rainy season turned out relatively mild, but from mid- to late August, came plenty of cloud cover due to the effects of typhoon and the autumn rain front. The blue sky returned in early September, but there was incessant rain for about a month after that, yielding the lowest sunshine hours in the past few years. It was a series of tough vineyard operations to ameliorate maturity, including the removal of diseased grapes and bunches. A blessed first half of the growing season by good weather, ended-up in an arduous last half during maturity.
"Cuvée Misawa Akeno Koshu 2016" was made through laboriously treasuring the rare sunny days, but fortunately, at the world's largest wine competition, the "Decanter World Wine Award", it got a top score of 98 points. It was a vintage where under challenging weather, valuing the basics paid off.

Award

Decanter World Wine Awards
2013 Gold Medal・Regional Trophy
2013 Gold Medal (95 pts)
2016 Gold Medal (98 pts, highest score for Asian wines)

At the Decanter World Wine Awards, the predecessor "Cuvée Misawa Akeno Koshu 2013" won the first gold medal and regional trophy for Japanese wines. At the same the competition , the 2016 vintage scored 98 points, the highest score for Asian wines. The 2017 vintage was praised by Mr. Olivier Puché, the world's best French sommelier at the 2000 Best Sommelier in the World competition.

Winemaker’s Message

Koshu has been handed down from generation to generation in the family and is synonymous with Grace Wine.
We began Vertical Shoot Positioning (VSP) trellising trials of Koshu in 1990 and started full-scale implementation at Misawa Vineyard in 2005.
In 2014, "Cuvée Misawa Akeno Koshu" 2013 won the first gold medal for Japanese wines at the world's largest wine competition, opening the door to the world.
Without resorting to hitherto required winemaking techniques such as sugar supplementation, acid supplementation and sur lie, achieving concentration in Koshu naturally via VSP, the gold medal was a reminder of the potential of the variety.

Seven years passed by. Cuvée Misawa Akeno Koshu was reborn as the new Koshu Misawa Vineyard.
Koshu grapes from the Misawa Vineyard are smaller, higher in sugar content and have a different organic acid composition compared to conventional shelf-grown grapes, containing more malic acid than ordinary Koshu grapes.

Compared with those grown on conventional pergolas, Koshu from the Misawa Vineyard has smaller berries, higher sugar content (about 20%), and different organic acids composition. Koshu grown in the Misawa Vineyard contains more malic acid than those grown elsewhere.

Over a three-year period from 2017 to 2019, a single test barrel also confirmed that malolactic fermentation (a fermentation in which lactic acid bacteria breaks down the malic acid in wine into lactic acid) occurred spontaneously. In 2020, we became the first winery in Japan to vinify with indigenous yeasts from the vineyards.

Based on three generations' quest for Koshu, and the efforts to express the unique terroir of Misawa Vineyard, the result is a Koshu that sets itself apart from anything that has come before.

Koshu Misawa Vineyard
01 KOSHU MISAWA VINEYARD

Koshu Misawa Vineyard

VINTAGE 2021

"Cuvée Misawa Akeno Koshu" was born from the belief in Koshu's potential, not needing to rely on conventional vinification techniques such as chaptalisation, acid adjustments and sur lie, which were deemed necessary. The wine was reborn as a new "wine of terroir" after further research - the "Koshu Misawa Vineyard".

Koshu grapes grown at the Misawa Vineyard yield less than 30 hl/ha. They are harvested separately by parcel and sometimes even by vine, and then vinified using indigenous yeasts from the vineyard. Malolactic fermentation, which is rare for Koshu, occurs naturally, giving the wine a taste that is distinctly different from previous Koshu wines. With its full-bodied aroma and soft, complex depth, this is a wine that has the potential to age well.

Detail

Basic Data

Production area
Misawa Vineyard, Akeno town (cho), Yamanashi Prefecture
Grape variety
Koshu
Altitude
700m
Soil
Clayey volcanic ash
Vinification
Hand-harvest, gentle, long press. Spontaneous fermentation with indigenous yeasts, followed by malolactic fermentation and maturation in stainless steel tanks or old French oak barrels for 7 months.
Type
White
Palate
Dry
Best to drink
2024+

Vintage

2021

March to May was blessed with good weather, with light to moderate rain and low to reasonable sunshine. Budding started off quickly, kicking off steady growth. The rainy season in June was also mild, with no diseases, and fruit set went well. The rainy season concluded 16 days earlier, sunny weather continued, and maturity started at the end of July. There was some stagnation due to heavy rain, lack of light, and low temperature in mid-August, but good weather continued from late August onwards, and the delay brought about by the cool summer was recovered. October was most peculiar. Temperature was high nationwide, but temperature differences between day and night were large. A patient wait for maturation was paid off with a satisfactory harvest.

2020

The warm winter gave way to spring and budburst went well. With good rainfall and plenty of sunshine, flowering and fruit set went well. The rainy season brought long rains and lack of sunshine, slowing down the growth of the grapes, but with proper pest control and rain shade application, only minor damages were sustained. Summer came following the end of the rainy season, bringing fine weather, seeming to compensate for the earlier lack of sunshine. The delayed ripening of the grapes gradually recovered, with the start of Koshu harvest on par with previous years. Autumn rains in September and Typhoon no. 14 in October put us on high alert until the latter half of harvest. However, with the management of grapes to suitable ripeness, while removing infected berries, we were able to gather healthy grapes for vinification.

2019

Vine growth went smoothly from April to June, with little rain and plenty of sunlight. In other parts of the Yamanashi prefecture, there were rainy days in July, and August was cloudy, but the influence on Misawa Vineyard was limited, and impact on grapes was minimized via proper management. In September, the lingering summer heat was scorching, and fine weather persisted, enabling the slowed maturity period due to the late arrival of summer to catch up. Record typhoons and heavy rains struck the Japanese archipelago from mid- to late October, but fortunately damage was modest, and we were able to wait for proper ripening before harvest. After rigorous selection in the vineyard, fermentation and maturation occurred in stainless steel tanks. The 2019 Koshu has high acidity overall, and a firm finish with tension. This wine represents the culmination of our love for Koshu through generations and is one we want to entrust the future of Japanese wine with.

2018

The rainy season concluded by the end of June, and maturity progressed earlier than usual. Koshu in 2018 yielded less than 20 hl/ha. After rigorous selection in the vineyard at the time of harvest, it is fermented and stored in stainless steel tanks.

2017

In 2017, rainfall was very low during both the early summer and the rainy season, bringing positive effects to flowering and fruiting, which led to natural yield restrictions. We recall we were expecting a great vintage. The blue summer sky spreaded throughout August. In September, temperature differences between day and night exceeded 20 degrees Celsius.
Although there were two typhoons in October, the growing season was able to capitalise on the earlier weather advantages, and by pinpointing the timing of maturity and harvest, it resulted in an ideal vintage showing the uniqueness of the vintage characteristics.

2016

The warm winter continued to Spring, temperature remained higher than usual, budding in 2016 started earliest in memory. In May, temperature continued to be above normal, with abundant sunshine hours, promoting shoot growth and a very early bloom.
The worrying rainy season turned out relatively mild, but from mid- to late August, came plenty of cloud cover due to the effects of typhoon and the autumn rain front. The blue sky returned in early September, but there was incessant rain for about a month after that, yielding the lowest sunshine hours in the past few years. It was a series of tough vineyard operations to ameliorate maturity, including the removal of diseased grapes and bunches. A blessed first half of the growing season by good weather, ended-up in an arduous last half during maturity.
"Cuvée Misawa Akeno Koshu 2016" was made through laboriously treasuring the rare sunny days, but fortunately, at the world's largest wine competition, the "Decanter World Wine Award", it got a top score of 98 points. It was a vintage where under challenging weather, valuing the basics paid off.

Award

Decanter World Wine Awards
2013 Gold Medal・Regional Trophy
2013 Gold Medal (95 pts)
2016 Gold Medal (98 pts, highest score for Asian wines)

At the Decanter World Wine Awards, the predecessor "Cuvée Misawa Akeno Koshu 2013" won the first gold medal and regional trophy for Japanese wines. At the same the competition , the 2016 vintage scored 98 points, the highest score for Asian wines. The 2017 vintage was praised by Mr. Olivier Puché, the world's best French sommelier at the 2000 Best Sommelier in the World competition.

Winemaker’s Message

Koshu has been handed down from generation to generation in the family and is synonymous with Grace Wine.
We began Vertical Shoot Positioning (VSP) trellising trials of Koshu in 1990 and started full-scale implementation at Misawa Vineyard in 2005.
In 2014, "Cuvée Misawa Akeno Koshu" 2013 won the first gold medal for Japanese wines at the world's largest wine competition, opening the door to the world.
Without resorting to hitherto required winemaking techniques such as sugar supplementation, acid supplementation and sur lie, achieving concentration in Koshu naturally via VSP, the gold medal was a reminder of the potential of the variety.

Seven years passed by. Cuvée Misawa Akeno Koshu was reborn as the new Koshu Misawa Vineyard.
Koshu grapes from the Misawa Vineyard are smaller, higher in sugar content and have a different organic acid composition compared to conventional shelf-grown grapes, containing more malic acid than ordinary Koshu grapes.

Compared with those grown on conventional pergolas, Koshu from the Misawa Vineyard has smaller berries, higher sugar content (about 20%), and different organic acids composition. Koshu grown in the Misawa Vineyard contains more malic acid than those grown elsewhere.

Over a three-year period from 2017 to 2019, a single test barrel also confirmed that malolactic fermentation (a fermentation in which lactic acid bacteria breaks down the malic acid in wine into lactic acid) occurred spontaneously. In 2020, we became the first winery in Japan to vinify with indigenous yeasts from the vineyards.

Based on three generations' quest for Koshu, and the efforts to express the unique terroir of Misawa Vineyard, the result is a Koshu that sets itself apart from anything that has come before.