Grace Wine was established in 1923, in the Katsunuma province, the birthplace of the Japanese wine industry. Committed to the belief that great wine is made in the vineyard, they were the first to research and introduce European training and pruning methods introducing such as using long cordon training and Vertical Shoot Positioning in 1990. The wines are made in a modern way to retain the delicate characteristics of this individual and exciting grape variety.
2020 started with a warm winter and spring, and the vines budded well. The canopy grew steadily due to good rainfall and higher-than-average sunshine during flowering to fruit set. In the rainy season, however, the growth of vines stagnated due to record rainfall and lack of sunshine, fortunately due to vigilance in the vineyard and individual bunch shading, damage was limited. Summer saw good weather return and the delayed growth and maturation of the grapes gradually recovered and the harvest of Koshu took place as usual.
Made from Japan’s most important indigenous grape variety: Koshu. The grapes for the Hishiyama Private Reserve are grown in a vineyard situated at the eastern end of the Kofu Basin. The Katsunuma area is an alluvial fan with widely distributed well-drained soil, which has been suitable for viticulture since ancient times. The Hishiyama district, with its complex terrain, is situated at the highest altitude of the Katsunuma region at an elevation of 500 to 600 metres. The soil is diverse, with large granite components scattered throughout the area. The lively acidity and smoky minerality in the wines from this region are direct expressions of the sense of place. The warm climate promotes healthy grapes, and to protect the grapes from the direct sunlight, Grace Winery uses ‘umbrellas’ to shade each bunch of grapes allowing them to reach excellent phenolic maturity. A modern long cordon training system is being used as an alternative to the traditional trellising methods. Significant advances have been made in limiting yields and focussing on canopy management. These endeavours have concentrated flavours and sugars, balancing the high acidity that occurs naturally in this variety. The fruit is hand-harvested at optimum maturity.
The grapes were gently pressed in a pneumatic press, prior to being fermented in stainless steel tanks to preserve the naturally occurring acidity and pure fruit flavours of the Koshu variety. Maturation took place in stainless steel tanks, prior to being bottled.
Layered aromas of lemon and lime are complemented by acacia, coriander and cumin with flinty mineral notes. This is bone dry and smooth on the palate with ample acidity enveloping the citrus fruit through to a deliciously fresh and mineral finish.