A Wine Business with a Global Perspective
While also producing superior-quality wines domestically in Japan, Suntory conducts a global wine business in cooperation with distinguished wineries throughout the world.
We acquired the management rights to the distinguished Château Lagrange winery in Bordeaux, France, in 1983, becoming the first non-Western company to operate a Bordeaux Grand Cru Château. By focusing on making the highest quality wines and maintaining full respect for the traditions and customs of the Bordeaux region, we succeeded in raising the reputation of Château Lagrange to remarkable new heights within a few years of acquiring the vineyard. Since 1988, we have also handled the operation of Weingut Robert Weil in Rheingau, Germany. In addition, we jointly operate two French châteaux, Châteaux Beychevelle and Château Beaumont, as well as one négociant.
We have established tie-ups with distinguished wineries and champagne houses in various countries, including Georges Duboeuf, Domaines Barons de Rothschild, E & J Gallo, Freixenet, and Laurent-Perrier. These connections enable us to bring fine wines from many other countries to consumers in Japan and China.
Raising Japan’s Wine to a World-class Standard
Suntory’s business started with wine. The first sale of Akadama Port Wine (now Akadama Sweet Wine) by our founder Shinjiro Torii in 1907 laid the foundation for the Suntory of today. In 1936, Shinjiro joined Zenbei Kawakami, the "father of Japanese viticulture," in initiating management of a vineyard in the Tomi no Oka region of Yamanashi Prefecture. Operating our own vineyard and applying consistent winemaking methods, from the growing of European grapes exclusively for wine to the production and aging of the wine itself, we developed the skills and know-how that culminated in Tomi, a red wine that represents Japan proudly throughout the world. This vineyard is known today as the Suntory Tomi no Oka Winery.
The passion and skilled technique of our viniculture experts gave birth to Tomi no Oka Winery’s flagship Tomi 1997, a wine that proceeded to win a gold medal at 2003 Les Citadelles du Vin (an international wine and spirits competition held in the Bordeaux region of France), a historic first for Japanese wine. In this way Tomi no Oka Winery’s winemaking has come to achieve world acclaim.
In 2010, wine made with 100% domestic grapes was positioned as "Japanese Wine," and the consequent releases of the Tomi no Oka serie s and the Japan Premium series, wines that pursue uniquely Japanese tastes, have met with favorable response. This was followed by the Shiojiri Winery series in 2017, which was also received favorably.
As the company that led the way in developing Japan’s wine market, Suntory continues to actively introduce new wines, such as Delica Maison, a wine for everyday enjoyment; the antioxidant, additive-free Sankaboshizai Mutenka no Oishii Wine in response to consumers’ safety, security, and health concerns; and Bar de nonda Sangria, which presents new value in order to encourage customers to take a sip.
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