OSAKA AS A GRAPE PRODUCER
In Osaka, there already exists over 120 years of grape farming culture, with a history of having once been the top producer in Japan. Urbanisation, however, has transformed vineyards to residential land while farmers turned to working city jobs, resulting to an increase in abandoned farmlands. Even with a drastic drop in the number of vineyards, there are still many that are active and as a member of the Osaka wine community, we could not ignore the urgency of this situation. In 2010, we began grape farming in Kashiwara City, Osaka, mainly with a focus on working with the abandoned farmlands and especially the Delaware grape which is native to this land. In the years following, we have received invitations to manage more farmland and have expanded working on over 2 hectares of vineyard. In a farm that has been abandoned for even just one year, reconditioning of the farmland is difficult and costly. Our goal is to rehabilitate and conserve vineyards in Osaka so that we can pass down the wine culture to future generations.
PRODUCING OUR OWN WINES
In the beginning, we started making our own wines at the legendary Katashimo Winery (a winery with over 100 years of wine-making experience). However, as we became responsible for more vineyards, it became necessary to create our own winery. In 2013, we opened our first winery in Osaka. We began as a small company with a tight budget but the limitations and difficulties back then led us to find a place in the city- this was how, instead of a winery near the farm, we arrived at the idea of an urban winery.
Our mission is not to make wine, nor is it to conserve the vineyards of Osaka. They are both important steps to achieving our real goal of integrating wine culture to daily life. In order to transform the stigma of wine as a foreign concept in Japan, we believe that we must remove the idea of it as something difficult to understand. To do this, we believed that we needed to connect farmland, farmer, winemaker, and consumer in a single space – this was why we opened our first restaurant.
– As more farmlands were abandoned and we increasingly received invitations to work with grapes from local vineyards, we decided to open our second urban winery – this time, a negotiant system winery in the heart of Tokyo, in Kiyosumi-Shirakawa. We continued to handle Japanese grapes, working mainly with pre-existing vineyards of Eastern Japan.
Our wines are not bold, acer types; they are, however, made especially tailored to the food culture here in Japan. We hope, that when you sip a glass of our wine and lend your senses – as you would to taste delicate Japanese cuisine – you would feel the lingering remainder of a greater story rooted in the land here – a story involving the people and the land, of the farmers, winemaker and the vineyards.