Kameoka Vineyard Project

This story begins with one full glass of wine.

May, 2008

We visited the Tamba Winery with our staff, and there we tasted a certain 2005 vintage. It was a great wine, comparable to a high-quality Bordeaux vintage. We could not hide our surprise when we learned that the grapes were grown in a vineyard located in the nearby city of Kameoka, a place not known for its production of wine grapes. We immediately began buying the wine every autumn from that year onward, we carried it in the shop, and it became a popular choice among customers.

However, there was no more wine to be had after the 2009 vintage. The grower, Mr. Fukuoka, had fallen ill, and he had stopped working in his vineyard.

We were pained to learn that the vineyard was not operating despite the good land and Mr. Fukuoka’s obvious talents at viticulture.

At that point, we approached Mr. Fukuoka through the Tamba Winery, asking him whether grapes could once again be produced in his vineyard if labor was provided.

March, 2013

With that, the Kameoka vineyard revival project was launched. Under the guidance of grower Mr. Fukuoka, we embarked on a new challenge as amateur viticulturists. We tidied up the weed-choked vineyard rows, planted new vines, and worked to revive older vines that had been at rest for three years. That October we celebrated the first harvest after the vineyard’s rejuvenation. However, the poor quality of the grapes caused us to give up on making red wine for the time being. We made and sold rosé instead.

April, 2014

Professors and students of Kyoto Gakuen University joined the project and it was then renamed the Kameoka Vineyard Project. This became an initiative that integrated the farmer, processor, and store, and then also grew to involve an educational institution as well; a project organization that was previously unknown in Japan.

February, 2016

The first red wine made from the revived Kameoka vineyard is due to be released in February, 2016. That moment is eagerly awaited by one and all?the grower whose vineyard was resurrected, the wineries that awaited the new grape harvests, the shops that will carry the new vintage, and finally, the people who will enjoy drinking it. Everyone looks forward to a splendid wine that embodies their hopes and wishes. Slowly and steadily, we are now approaching the release of just such a wine.

December 2015
Kameoka vineyard project team

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