Japanese Wine

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While the culture of winemaking in Japan is relatively young, the variety of climates and prevalence of small-batch winemakers in Japan makes for a breeding ground for innovation, untethered by the laws of tradition.
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Buy Japanese Wine Online

The meticulous attention to detail that’s central to Japanese craftsmanship has come to define the nation’s attitude towards fruit, like gift melons that go for a hundred dollars, luxury packs of white strawberries, and grapes that are so sweet that they taste like candy. It’s no wonder that the country has developed a taste for winemaking, with 45 of Japan’s 47 prefectures producing the beverage, according to the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO).

Yamanashi prefecture, in particular, is accountable for over 25% of Japan’s grapes, creating a climate that’s literally ripe for winemaking. Yamanashi produces about half of the Japanese wine on the market, the most of any prefecture. If you’re wondering where to buy Japanese wine or which Japanese wine brands to go for, Yamanashi is a great starting point. In fact, Yamanashi was the first prefecture to produce domestic wine.

Wine was introduced to the Japanese by Portuguese missionaries in the 16th century but, according to the Japan Wineries Association, production of the beverage didn’t take off until the 1870s when the first Japanese wine company was established in Yamanashi by two men who had just returned from studying winemaking in France.

Of course, for those looking to shop for Japanese wine, there are a wide variety of Japanese wine brands from other prefectures. Many of the over 300 wineries in Japan are small-batch producers, leading to an interesting range of Japanese wines. In particular, the cooler climates of Hokkaido and Nagano prefectures, also located in central Japan, have been popular breeding grounds for winemakers in recent years.

It goes without saying that the best wine with Japanese food would be Japan-made wines. With the immense diversity of Japanese wines, made from both indigenous grape varieties, cross-bred types, and specialty grapes like Chardonnay which originated in France; there is a perfect wine pairing for every Japanese dish. With the delicate and subtle nature of Japanese cuisine, equally delicate and nuanced Japanese wine is the perfect match.

With a variety of wines from Nagano, Hokkaido, and beyond; buy Japanese wines right here on Japan’s one-stop food platform. And speaking of Japanese wines, if you’re interested in the so-called “rice wine” nihonshu (not technically a wine, as its production is more akin to beer brewing), we also have a section for Japanese sake, as well. For umeshu plum wine (another misleading moniker) and other boozy delights, check out our range of other alcoholic beverages.