Top Wineries in Japan (Japan Winery Award 2020)

Updated: Mar 21






Why was Japan Winery Award launched?

Japanese wine has been getting more and more attention in recent years.


To govern and protect the 'Japanese Wine' brand, strict guidelines around what can be labeled as 'Japanese Wine' were introduced in 2018. Essentially, to quality as 'Japanese Wine', the wine has to be:

  • produced in Japan

  • 100% made from locally-grown grapes

For more details, you can check out this article here.


Great, so rules are in place to help consumers identify which are Japanese Wine and which are not. With the 85% rule, wine-lovers like ourselves are able to obtain further information about the bottle of Japanese Wine in front of us just by looking at the wine label. For instance, if a grape variety or region is labelled, we know at least 85% of the grapes used to produce that bottle of wine is made from that specific variety or region.


Being able to know these intel on specific bottles of Japanese Wine is great, but how can consumers identify from which wineries they should buy wine from? Especially considering the fact that the number of wineries in Japan has been increasing at an impressively rapid pace?


How rapid you may ask? Well, let's just take Hokkaido as an example, the number of wineries in Hokkaido has TRIPLED in just ten years...check out this article for more details.


Now that's where this Japan Winery Award comes in.

Japan Winery Award was launched in 2018, and its aim is to help consumers identify the best wineries in Japan.


Japan Winery Award 2020

Before we dive into the exact wineries for each of the different awards, let's look at some overall statistics:

  • 235 eligible wineries in Japan in 2020, out of which 157 wineries were given an award

  • 15 wineries given 5 star rating

  • 50 wineries given 4 star rating

  • 66 wineries given 3 star rating

  • 26 wineries given connoisseur winery award

Full PDF (only in Japanese) can be downloaded here if interested.


★★★★★ 5 Stars

Wineries that have produced a great number of outstanding vintages


Hokkaido

Domaine Takahiko

Yamazaki Winery


Yamagata

Sakai Winery

Takahata Winery

Takeda Winery


Yamanashi

Katsunuma Winery

Kizan Winery

Suntory Tomi no Oka Winery

Château Mercian

Diamond Chanterwine

Grace Wine

Marufuji Winery


Nagano

Obuse Winery

Kido Winery


Oita

Ajimu Budoshu Koubou


★★★★ 4 Stars

Wineries that generally produce good quality wines and occasionally outstanding vintages


Hokkaido

Kondo Vineyard

Chitose Winery

10R Winery Kamihoro Wine

Nakazawa Vineyard

Nora-kura

Hirakawa Winery

Hokkaido Wine


Iwate

Kuzumaki Wine

Edel Wein


Yamagata

Asahimachi Wine

Gassan Wine

WoodyFarm&Winery


Tochigi

CocoFarm&Winery


Niigata

Iwanohara Vineyard

Tainai-Kogen Wine

Fermier


Toyama

Says Farm


Yamanashi

Kai Winery

Caney Wine

Kisvin Winery

Kurambon Wine

Grande Polaire

Chateau Sakaori Winery

Chateau Jun Winery

Chateraise Katsunuma Winery

Soleil Wine

Domaine Mie Ikeno

Haramo Wine

Fujiclair Wine

Maruki Winery

Mars Wine

Manns Wines

Chateau Lumiere


Nagano

Azumino Winery

Alps Wine (Nagano)