April 10, 2013 09:52 AM

A Look at Various Japanese Natural Wines

[Japan]

By Anusuya Reported on March 27, 2013

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What is Japanese natural wine? Japanese natural wine is wine made with minimal number of chemical components in growing grapes. Natural wines may be organically grown grapes, dry-farmed, having no added sugars and no acidity. There are also information that natural wines have no filtration and no heavy manipulation. Masanobu Fukuoka a Japanese philosopher of farming was known to provide inspiration for natural wines. Shizen-ha (natural) wines have become a phenomenon in many shops. There are a lot of consumers having a craze for natural wines. 

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Natural-wine tasting event "Festivin" 

Statistics reveal that Japanese people are craving for natural wines. It is no doubt why Japan has become one of the world's largest markets. Experts feel that natural wine's associations with health are the main reason for Japan's conquest of the industry. Junko Nakahama, one of the organizers of the popular natural-wine tasting event "Festivin" feels that natural wines preserve the charm of the grapes. 

So what are the types of natural wines available in Japan? One of the most widely talked about natural wine is Rock Sake Junmai Ginjo. It is known that the sake does not contain any preservatives. Another one is Rock Sake Cloud. This is a typical type of sake. There is no distilled alcohol added during the brewing process. A lot of people like to drink this sake with ice. Some of the well-known wines are the orange wines of Josko Gravner which are very natural and the white Marc Tempé. The French natural wines are also a variety which the Japanese like to drink. We all know that natural wines are strong and exciting with complex tastes. There is something so clear and flawless in natural wines that they beckon us to take another sip of them. 

During a wine fair, there were sources that stated the queue for Beau Paysage Merlot from Yamanashi was so lengthy that the wine had ran out before most taste it. In fact, many visitors had already speculated about its success in many countries. There is a prediction that more Japanese producers will join the pursuit of natural wine movement in the coming years. There is also buzz that in Japan, numerous importers have been very successful promoting natural wines. Racine and Kanaiya have been winners in this niche market but many companies are adding to the competition. 

I was helping out in a wine fair and had a chance to talk to young wine tasters about wine qualities and varieties. When I asked what they thought of natural wines most of them remarked, "I thought most of the wines are natural ones." It was so good to know about what these wine tasters felt about the natural wines and their real stories. There were a few of the tasters who confessed that they like the natural wines for their perfect purity. They had also exclaimed that the taste of the natural wines were top standard. They were very proud of the natural wines. 

Hayato Kojima, President of wine education company Wine and New life, voiced out that many Japanese wine enthusiasts love the trend towards 'no additives'. 

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