Japan is a relatively new player in the global wine industry, but it has already made a name for itself with its unique, high-quality wines. The country's climate is generally cool and humid, with short summers and long, cold winters. This makes it challenging to grow grapes for wine production, but winemakers have found success in a number of regions across the country.
The two main grape-growing regions in Japan are Yamanashi and Hokkaido. Yamanashi is located just west of Tokyo and produces the majority of Japan's wine. The region is known for its full-bodied reds, made primarily from the Koshu grape, as well as its crisp, refreshing whites. Hokkaido, on the other hand, is a much colder region in the northern part of the country, and produces light, delicate whites made from the grape variety called Kerner.
Yamagata is another important wine region in Japan, located in the northern part of Honshu island. Other than international grape varieties such as Cabernet Franc & Merlot, Yamagata is also known for its production of wines made from other regional grape varieties such as theAmerican Delaware grape and local Muscat Bailey A. The Delaware grape is often used to make light and refreshing white wines, while the Muscat Bailey A grape is a red grape variety that produces wines with a unique, fruity character. Both of these grape varieties are well-suited to Yamagata's cool climate and help to give the region's wines a distinct character.
Japanese winemakers have also begun experimenting with other grape varieties, such as Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Chardonnay. Many of these wines have a unique character, thanks to the cool, humid climate and the use of traditional Japanese winemaking techniques.