Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘day trips out of Sapporo Hokkaido’

sign

cabfrancsign

view

Vineyards below mountain

Day Trip out of Sapporo to a Winery

Hakkenzan Winery, Hokkaido, Japan

On one of the days we were in Hokkaido on our last visit, our hosts Satoshi and Max took us on a really interesting day trip: to a winery. Rod had read that Hokkaido was producing some wine, so we were very interested to see how and where that was taking place. Besides being a new crop/product in Hokkaido, the vines and winery are in a lovely setting below a famous mountain. Satoshi and Max explained that Hak=8, Ken=peak, and Zan=mountain.

view2

bottles

inside

Inside the winery

So, the meaning is 8-peak mountain and the winery sits below a mountain that does indeed look like that; some even say it looks like the back of a Stegosaurus. We also went through a tunnel of the same name to get there.

Hakkenzan Winery is an interesting place, unlike any other winery we’ve been to in various countries (and we’ve been to many!). The location under the peaks is very pretty, and the notion of producing wine in Japan’s northernmost island is new and fairly revolutionary.

Trial viticulture started in 2006, and the building was constructed in 2011, the same year the first vintage was produced. It’s apparently a co-op with around 120 shareholders.

It’s not a traditional-looking wine place, but then it’s not in a traditional wine growing area! The building and surrounds are a bit ramshackle and the rooms set out a bit haphazardly, and not well signed or organized inside. If we weren’t with Satoshi and Max we wouldn’t really know what was going on, but then if we weren’t with them we wouldn’t have even known about such a place.

tastingbuilding

Us in front of winery building

vineswnames

Vines labeled in Japanese and English

seibelbottleTasting is offered but isn’t well set out—just some open bottles on a table with small plastic glasses, sip-size.

But, that being said, the guy was very friendly when approached in his office to the side of the tasting area and this whole idea of wine here in Hokkaido is a relatively new venture. So, they are still in the process of learning how to do it. The terroir is totally different to, say, France or South Africa; the cultivars are different; and therefore the resulting wines are too.

The soil of the vineyard is clayey with a lot of gravel. He said that in the test field they are cultivating about 25 varieties of grapes, including Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay.

kernersign

kernergrapes

Kerner grapes

rieslingvines

Riesling vines

The rows of vines outside are neatly labeled and it was fun to see those in such an awesome setting and all with English and Japanese names. We noticed some German cultivars (such as Kerner, Seibel, and Riesling) and some hybrids, so it’s still an experiment really. The owners are searching for new cultivars that work here and therefore produce a good local wine that reflects the terroir. In the vineyard there are not many vines though and some are yielding rather meager bunches. As I said, a whole new venture. It’s a small operation, but you don’t need many vines to make some wine.

sauvblanc

sblancgrapes

Sauvignon blanc grapes

meagreWe tried a couple of wines: they weren’t great (not unexpected, given the climate and soil) but the Portland white had a good flavor. This is a white cultivar that grows well in the US Great Lakes region too. They working on improving things and appear to be making some profit.

When Satoshi asked, the owner did have a pamphlet in English. We discovered that one of their wines is called Kanonz. The name comes from the name of the mountain, as another name for Hakkenzan is Kannon-iwayama. Kannon is the name of one of the Japanese Bosatsu (Buddhist deities). The wine is a blend of Seibel, Merlot and Riesling.

They also sell jams, sauces, sparkling water and a few curios.redgrapesEntrance and tasting are free.

It’s about 20km SW of Sapporo city and easily drivable.

www.hakkenzanwinery.com

Read Full Post »

Camellia's Cottage

Alabama Lifestyle Blog

Our Visits to Japan

Trying to capture the essence of this lovely country

Sunny District

Welcome to my happy place!

Transplanted Tatar

Travel of the hidden-treasure variety

Odedi's Wine Reviews Blog

Wine reviews so good, you can almost "taste it" !

Korean Experiences

Come travel and explore this lovely country ( South Korea) with Viv and Rod on our latest trips

Social Vignerons

The World of Wine's Got Talent

Some Good Eats

Eat and don't worry about it

No Milk Today

Allergy or Food Intolerance: Delicious Dairy-Free Recipes, DIY & more :)

valeriu dg barbu

©valeriu barbu

wendyquinn.me/

WRITING AND COPY-EDITING : MEMORABLE AND INVITING. CONCISE AND CLEAR. KEEP IT SIMPLE.

Slim Paley

The Stuff of Life

The Exhibition List

SHARE YOUR EXPERIENCES OF MUSEUMS, GALLERIES AND HISTORIC PLACES WITH THE WORLD

Gardening in the Lines

a diary of gardens.

Travelrat's Travels

Been there; done it ... and if I haven't, I'm going sometime!

Paris: People, Places and Bling

Theadora's Field Guide to Shopping in Paris

The Perpetual Vagabond

Art, Travel, Photography, and Adventure!

Simple Speedy Snacks

Recipes and stories about snacking