Nov. 13, 2017

SUNTORY TOMI NO OKA WINERY "From the Site of Viticulture" 2017 Yamanashi Nouveau Wines Koshu and Muscat Bailey A

Yamanashi Nouveau Wines are nouveau wines made with Koshu and Muscat Bailey A grapes harvested in Yamanashi Prefecture. They have an annual release date of November 3 as set by the Yamanashi Prefecture Wine Manufacturers’ Association. All products sold this year use 100% Yamanashi Prefecture-produced grapes.

Deep into autumn, the time for the harvest and nouveau wines has arrived.


Grapes destined for our nouveau wines are cultivated with great care at numerous contract vineyards throughout Yamanashi Prefecture and then delivered to the Tomi No Oka Winery. As the harvest approaches, staff from the Tomi No Oka Winery set out for the vineyards as the grapes are starting to turn color to ensure that the grapes are healthy and to test them for sugar content, acidity, aroma and so forth by actually tasting them. Because grapes mature at different rates depending on the location of the field, we coordinate with vineyards to ensure all grapes are harvested at just the right time.

Once the grapes are finally harvested and delivered to the Tomi No Oka Winery, staff work together to load the grapes onto truck beds and quickly transport them to the next stage.

Staff load Muscat Bailey A into carriers

Production personnel check the flavor of the grapes

The amount of summertime sunlight was lower than usual this year. This resulted in grapes with a crisp acidity and fresh taste. For that reason, we deliberately vinted the wine to highlight the bright aroma.

Muscat Bailey A during fermentation

Koshu, the Distinctive Japanese Variety

This year’s Yamanshi nouveau Koshu had robust stalks that could potentially jam the machinery so the grapes were fully stripped before being pressed. The fruit, which was firm and robust, gave us pure juice.

As an agricultural product, grapes are not the same every year. That is why making wine entails a laborious process of trial and error to find the right vinting method for the grapes. That, of course, is the true pleasure of winemaking.

Pressed juicePressed juiceKoshu fermenting in the tank

This year’s Koshu has the sweet aroma of white flowers and the slightly honey-like aroma of fruits such as fresh pear. There is also the cool, refreshing hint of herbs. It has a delicate, light taste with a sweet and tart sensation of fruit, like eating a sweet pomelo. It finishes with a fruity aroma.

Muscat Bailey A’s attack has a fresh acidity yet still creates a gentle fruity sensation in the mouth for a bright, refreshing taste. The rich acidity spreads in the second half and then finishes in a fruity aftertaste.

And then there is our new product, Muscat Bailey A Rosé. With its soft mouthfeel, it perfectly balances refreshing acidity with a nice sweetness. In the middle stage the fruity sensation spreads, while the sweet candy aroma of Muscat Bailey A continues into the finish.

Tomi No Oka Winery - Japan Premium Nouveau 2017

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