Ethos: Understanding the wines of the world in order to develop the particular characteristics of Japanese wine.
Vibrant, perky wines from French and native Japanese varieties (white, rosé and red).
The upper terrace of the Mariko Winery affords panoramic views of vineyards and volcanoes (Mount Tateshina and Mount Asama), but the inward perspective is just as captivating: windows overlook the production room and cellar, and rails run along the ceiling of the reception area to feed new wine into the tanks by gravity. Grapes are separated according not just to variety but which of the Mariko vineyards’ 16 plots they came from, finally arriving at one of two cellars differing in temperature, to be optimally matured.
It’s all in a bid for nuance, and marks exciting thinking from the newest addition to one of Japan’s oldest winemaking companies. Château Mercian has roots in the country’s first private wine company, Dai-Nihon Yamanashi Budoushu-Gaisha, which was founded in 1877, and currently owns two other sites, at Katsunuma and Kikyogahara. The Mariko vineyards opened in 2003 and the winery in late 2019, heading straight onto this list the following year.Your visit