Oct. 16, 2018
Tomi no Oka Winery 2018 Start of Harvest and Production Ceremonies
On August 28, ceremonies to mark the start of harvest and production were held at Tomi no Oka Winery. Every year, the winery holds prayer rituals at the start of the harvest and production season to ensure good weather during the harvest, a healthy crop of high-quality grapes, and safe working conditions free of injury and sickness. The ceremonies are attended by the entire staff at Tomi no Oka Winery.
Ceremonies began with worship at the Inari Shrine located on the grounds of the winery. Next, outside at the vineyard of Petit Verdot, prayers to ensure safe harvest operations and a bountiful harvest of superior grapes were offered by the chief Shinto priest from the Wakamiya Hachimangu Shrine in Nirasaki City, Yamanashi. The winery’s relationship with Wakamiya Hachimangu Shrine dates to when Suntory was still Kotobukiya, and Tomi no Oka Winery still Tomi Farm. The shrine has long overseen the winery’s prosperity.
Following this, President Miyashita of Suntory Wine International addressed everyone. “Even overseas, Japanese wines are now garnering attention. With careful attention to health and safety, let’s work together to create a magnificent wine that expands the allure of wine even more,” he said.
Next, General Manager Shounai called on staff to “impress the world by coming together as one to make wine of the highest quality.” This was followed by an offering of wine to the Petit Verdot grapevine in the hopes of harvesting health, high-quality grapes.
Mr. Wada from the Viticulture Team expressed his gratitude to everyone for their help. “We have produced very nice grapes, thanks to the staff who worked morning to night,” he said. Bringing the harvest ceremony to a close, he expressed his determination to put safety first as everyone’s attention now turns to the harvest. With that, everyone moved to the vineyard of Riesling Forte where the entire staff participated in the year’s first harvest.
Next, everyone moved to the winemaking area, where purification rituals were held to pray for safety in production operations. Representing the Production Team and Design and Development Team, Ms. Endo said there were two points she wanted everyone to keep in mind as they began wine production. “Number one is that safety and health always come first,” she said. “Always keep in mind that safety is our highest priority at all times. Number two is that your work should take a customer-centric approach to craftsmanship.” Underscoring her determination, she added, “It does neither our customers nor ourselves any good if we become complacent or make compromises. In quality and design development, we should always value our sense of appreciation for our customers in our approach to winemaking.”
Temperatures this year were warm from early spring, helping the grapes to mature quickly. They should produce a very good vintage.
The condition of the grapes will continue to be checked with great care, especially the aroma and concentration of the whites and the maturity of the reds, to harvest them at just the right time to produce wines of the highest quality to impress the world. Everyone, be ready for great things!