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
The history of Suntory is grounded in wine. Suntory founder Shinjiro Torii laid the groundwork for the Suntory of today in 1907, when he made Akadama Port Wine (now Akadama Sweet Wine) available for purchase. In 1936, we joined hands with Zenbei Kawakami, often called the father of Japanese viticulture, to operate a vineyard in Tomi no Oka, Yamanashi Prefecture. With our own vineyard located here, we began to practice viticulture from cultivating European wine-dedicated grapes through vinification and aging as a whole, creating the leading “Tomi.”
This vineyard is now Suntory’s Tomi no Oka Winery.
The winery’s flagship wine, Tomi 1997, is a distillation of our winemakers’ craft and passion. At the international “2003 Les Citadelles du Vin” wine and spirits competition held in France’s Bordeaux region, it became the first Japanese wine ever to take a gold medal. Furthermore, Tomi Red 2014 won a gold medal for the second year in a row in the Japanese wine division at the 2019 International Wine Challenge (IWC), while our Tomi No Oka Koshu 2017 won the Platinum medal at the Decanter World Wine Awards (DWWA) 2019, both receiving high international approbation. Our winery’s viticulture has thus been globally recognized.
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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