Updated: Mar 21, 2021
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
★★★★ 4 Stars
Wineries that generally produce good quality wines and occasionally outstanding vintages
★★★ 3 Stars
Wineries that constantly produce good quality wines
Wineries that produce unique wines worth appreciating
Now next time when you visit Japan, instead of dining at 3-star-michelin restaurants in Tokyo, why not visit the 5-star-rated wineries in Japan!