Why have the Japanese never got good at making wine?

There are some pretty damn good beers, and apparently the whiskeys are world class. There is also no lack of demand for wine in Japan, so I’d been wondering about this one for a while when I finally found an answer in Friday’s International Herald Tribune:

Japanese wineries betting on a reviled grape

To summarize, the weather conditions means that the vinifera grapes that are common in most great wine growing nations end up rotting in Japan. Most vineyards therefore use a local variant called koshu which is more resistant to the summer and autumn rains. Unfortunately, this grape is quite bitter, leading to most wine growers to add lots of sugar.

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4 Comments

  1. David said,

    November 1, 2010 at 8:15 am

    Simply put: you need dry and hot summers to have good wine, a thing Japan does have. :)

  2. alexcase said,

    November 1, 2010 at 9:24 pm

    Hot certainly, but dry??

  3. David said,

    November 1, 2010 at 9:26 pm

    Whoops. I meant “doesn’t have”.

  4. alexcase said,

    November 1, 2010 at 9:36 pm

    Thought so!


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