Recently, we have been featuring boutique winemakers in Nagano spurred on by our local wine shop, Yorozuya, which takes pride in finding new wine makers and showcasing their products. But for this month, we decided to circle back and look at what three winemakers we have visited and written about previously are doing. What we found is that the three winemakers that we “liked” in the past are now creating wine that we really “like.” It is as if a corner has been turned—and much more quickly than we had expected.
It is snowing in the mountains of Nagano as we write this – and the ski season promises to be the best in a decade. There is already nearly half a meter of snow on the ground and another half meter is expected overnight. After a long day on the slopes, there is nothing better than sitting by a wood stove and trying out some new wines.
This month we are featuring wines from two boutique wineries: Funky Chateau (we still love that name!) and Coteau des Chevrettes (yes, there are goats that help out at the winery to keep the weeds away from the vines).
Fall has finally arrived in Nagano – and none too soon. This past summer may have been the worst in years for wines in the prefecture, with June and July overcast and very wet and August hot and humid – reducing the difference between daytime and night temperatures that are important for the right balance between sugar (day time) and acidity (night time). That said, the weather improved in September as we got closer to harvest hopefully keeping things on course for a good year.
This has been a rainy season that we all wish to forget. It has rained nearly every day since the latter part of June and continues as we write on July 16. And this is not just any ordinary rain – precipitation has been at record levels causing major flooding in the Matsumoto area and … Continue reading July 2020 Recommendations
March is an in between month in Nagano. It is still winter – the mornings are below zero degrees and the mountains are still white with snow. But Spring is just around the corner – and none more so than this year when a combination of light snowfall and temperatures rising into the teens have … Continue reading March 2020 Recommendations
This month we are featuring wines from the Chikumagawa Wine District of Nagano. The area is named for the river running through it from the Japanese Alps over 350km to the Sea of Japan. The vineyards are principally situated around Saku, Komoro, Tomi, Ueda and Suzaka cities. Over the past 15 years, these local governments … Continue reading October 2019 Recommendations
July is one of those in between months in Japan: rainy at the start and then full-on summer by the close. We are bringing to you three wines that should help you through the transition. Interestingly, two of them are made from Japanese local varietals and the third is a successful experiment in combining Chardonnay grapes from different vintages.