September and October are not surprisingly the best time for wines in Nagano. Why – because it is harvest season. And normally we would be gearing up to visit some of our favorite wineries to help with the picking and the sorting of the grapes as well as joining the picnics in the vineyards and sampling some of the just released 2020 wines.
Summer has come to Nagano – and we are enjoying a succession of warm, sunny days ranging up to 30 degrees Celsius and dropping in the evening to the low 20’s – an ideal diurnal range for Syrah grapes. As we noted before, the climate in Nagano is friendly to the Syrah grape and growers here are increasingly featuring this wine in their portfolios. Another reason may be that the wine produced from the Syrah grape in Nagano agrees better with Japanese sensibilities. It is light, fruity and hints of Japan’s local pepper, “sansho”. The contrast with California, Spain and Australian Shiraz wines can be quite stark.
ALPS markets a very nice Chardonnay for 2700 yen under its Musee du Vin Maestro brand. This wine has a nice gold color and a fruity, fresh taste. But for 300 yen more a bottle, you get an entirely different experience: The Dynastie Shiojiri brand exclusively uses grapes from fields that are managed directly by the company rather than from contract farmers.
Below is a complete list of Nagano wineries with online shops and a link to each. The list was compiled by Mr. Junya Hanaoka who oversees wine in the product promotion department of Nagano prefecture. You can also see some of our recommended online shops and wines here. Those are the "top hits", great and … Continue reading Complete List of Nagano Winery Online Shops
Like us, we suspect that most of you are hunkered down waiting out the coronavirus. But despite the “isolation”, we continue to enjoy Nagano wines ordered online directly from the wineries. You can too! Our recommendations this month focus on Nagano wineries that offer a wide selection of interesting wines, payment by credit card and … Continue reading April 2020 Recommendations
We have decided to postpone this dinner event due to COVID-19. The dinner event is meant to bring together people passionate about wine. We do not believe that we can do so, and do so safely, in the current environment. We hope to be in touch soon with a new date for the event. *** … Continue reading Friends of Nagano Wine Tasting and Dinner–POSTPONED DUE TO COVID-19
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 past weekend we traveled to Chateau Mercian's new visitor's center at its 30 hectare Mariko Vineyard. Chateau Mercian began developing the Mariko Vineyard nearly 20 years ago naming it after a 6th century scion of the Kinmei Emperor. The area is widely regarded as one of the best wine-growing areas in Nagano Prefecture, because … Continue reading February 2020 Recommendations: A Visit to Chateau Mercian Mariko Vineyard