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What Major Japanese Wine Brands have in common?

Updated: Mar 17, 2021

This is likely a characteristic unique to Japan, but major Japanese Wine brands actually all have one thing in common, that is their ties to 'Japanese Beer'!

For example, renowned wine brand Château Mercian is owned by Kirin, while Tomi no Oka is owned by Suntory. Today let's take a look at all the different ties Japanese Wine brands have with their respective parent companies.


Kirin and Château Mercian

Château Mercian Overview

  • Vineyards: Yamanashi / Nagano / Akita / Fukushima

  • Wineries: Katsunuma Winery / Kikyogahara Winery / Mariko Winery

  • URL:

  • One of the most well-known wineries in Japan, Château Mercian is also known as the origin of Japanese wine.

  • 'Finesse & Elegance' is the philosophy of Château Mercian

  • Grape varieties grown in vineyards in Yamanashi include Koshu, Muscat Bailey A, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, Merlot, and Chardonnay

  • Grape varieties grown in vineyards in Nagano include Chardonnay, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Franc, and Syrah

  • Grape varieties grown in vineyards in Fukushima include Chardonnay and Alvarinho

  • Grape varieties grown in vineyards in Akita include Riesling and Kerner


Sapporo and Grande Polaire

Overview of Grande Polaire

  • Vineyards: Hokkaido Yoichi / Nagano / Yamanashi / Okayama

  • Wineries: Katsunuma Winery / Okayama Winery

  • URL:

  • Among the different vineyards of Grande Polaire, there is one in focus, the 'Azuminoikeda Vineyard'. Azuminoikeda Vineyard, located in Nihon Alps Wine Valley of Nagano Prefecture, is the vineyard Grande Polaire is using to test out and challenge all boundaries and possibilities of Japanese Wine. Grape varieties grown at this vineyard include Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Merlot, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc

  • Grape varieties grown in vineyards in Nagano include Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay.

  • Grape varieties grown in vineyards in Yamanashi include Koshu and Kai Noir

  • Grape varieties grown in vineyards in Okayama include Muscat Bailey A and Muscat of Alexandria


Suntory and Tomi No Oka

Overview of Tomi No Oka

  • In addition to Tomi No Oka, Suntory operates its wine production in two more 'series', the 'Shiojiri' series and the 'Japan Premium' series

  • URL:

  • Suntory has been conducting global wine business in cooperation with distinguished wineries throughout the world. For example, Suntory acquired the management rights to the Château Lagrange winery in Bordeaux France in 1983, becoming the first non-Western company to operate a Bordeaux Grand Cru Château

  • In 1936, Suntory joined hands with Zenbei Kawakami, often called the father of Japanese viticulture, to operate a vineyard in Tomi No Oka

  • Wine produced from Suntory has been receiving international recognition and awards in recent years, for example 'Tomi No Oka Koshu 2017' won the Platinum medal at the Decanter World Wine Awards (DWWA) 2019


Asahi and Sainte Neige

Overview of Saint Neige


Lastly, as a bonus tip, there is one more Japanese Wine brand that is closely tied to a major food & beverage corporation, 'Mannes Wines'.

Instead of parent company being a 'beer' manufacturer however, for Mannes Wines, it is the world's #1 producer of soy sauce, 'Kikkoman'.

Kikkoman and Mannes Wines

Overview of Mannes Wines

  • Vineyards: Yamanashi / Nagano

  • Wineries: Katsunuma Winery / Komoro Winery

  • URL:

  • Grape variety grown include Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Chardonnay, Shinano Riesling, Koshu, Muscat Bailey A


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