On March 26, 2019, the Friends of Nagano Wine hosted Mr. Manabu Yagasaki, CEO and winemaker of Alps winery. Mr. Yagasaki studied at Oregon State University with Professor Walter Clore, who is widely known as the “father of wine” in the Pacific Northwest of the United States. Alps is one of the largest and most innovative wineries in Nagano, Japan.
Mr. Yagasaki gave an overview of the wine industry in Japan with a special emphasis on the commercial challenges, including competition domestically from sake and whiskey and internationally from inexpensive yet quality wines from Australia, Chile and Argentina. He also discussed how climate change may favor growing grapes in Nagano.
In addition, Mr. Yagasaki provided twelve wines for tasting:
- Rose Bud
- Ryugan (2018)
- Etoile Sauvignon Blanc (2018)
- Etoile Sauvignon Blanc (2017)
- Maestro Chardonnay (2018)
- Etoile Chardonnay (2015)
- Maestro Zweigeltrabe (2017)
- Maestro Syrah (2018)
- Maestro Syrah (2015)
- Black Queen (2017)
- Festa Blend (2018 – made for Shiojiri Wine Festa 2019)
- Ligue 1 Merlot (2014)
Alps wine may be purchased online at https://www.alpswine.com. The winery also has an outlet located on the ground level of the Shiojiri JR station.
The wine may also be purchased at Ginza NAGANO, which kindly offered its beautiful event space for the seminar and helped with the tasting.