A New Region for Wine
In 2004, new regulations made it easier for boutique wineries to be set up. Previously, the law required a minimum production level that was within the reach only of large corporates. More recently, a new law enforced the use of exclusively home-grown grapes for Japanese wine, and OIV recognition for Koshu and Muscat Bailey A encouraged general alignment with global standards of labelling, geographical indications, and production methods.
The spotlight is now on the producers wrestling brilliantly distinctive wines out of this compelling, challenging terroir. Domestic demand for and national pride in authentic Japanese wine is growing rapidly. In the last ten years the diversity, quality, and export potential of Japanese wine has been transformed.
Japan is still unfamiliar territory for many when it comes to wine, but there is a growing interest in Japanese culture, food and wine. The huge improvements in quality, and new export mentality and support, make this a very exciting time for Japanese wine.