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.
This wine is made from Japan’s most important indigenous grape variety, Koshu, which is grown in Japan’s top Koshu producing region: Katsunuma. Situated at the eastern end of the Kofu basin, the Katsunuma’s area is an alluvial fan with well-drained soils, an area which has been suitable for viticulture since ancient times. The characteristic, intricate terrain with its complex, volcanic soils produces wines that distinguish the sense of place. The vines are grown at elevations of above 400 metres; these highaltitude, hilly areas such as the Toriihira in Katsunuma, Hishiyama and Fukasawa districts produce limited yields, concentrated flavours and balancing acidity, due to the diurnal temperature swings. Traditional trellis pruning has been cast aside in favour of a modern long cordon training system which helps to control yields; concentrating flavours and sugars to balance the high acidity that occurs naturally in this variety. In order to reduce the effects of autumn rain, each bunch is covered with an umbrella and the fruit is hand-picked at optimal maturity.
The grapes were chilled upon arrival at the winery and underwent a long, gentle pressing. The fruit was fermented in stainless steel tanks to retain the purity of fruit and characteristics of the Koshu variety. The philosophy here is to allow the wine to express the individuality of the grape and the sense of Katsunuma’s sense of place through a deep knowledge of the individual districts and plots.
Pure, sublimely crisp and mineral in style, this wine is fresh and elegant with rich aromas of fresh pear, white peach, honeysuckle, rosemary, clove and mineral stone notes. Dry, with a lively palate of crisp, ripe fruits and a charming acidity which offers the wine great backbone, through to a hint of umami on the finish.