In Japan, the history of grape planting can be traced down to the Kamakura or Edo period. Back in time, the grapes was only eat like any kind of berries, until the beginning of the Meiji period when the wine industry started to be developed.
One of the most important elements of winemaking is the “Terroir” which refers to the soil and climate where grapes are growing up. The terroir will directly impact the taste and special flavour that will give to the wine is particularity creating a wine unique to the location. During the Meiji period as a part of the policy of encouragement of new industry, winemaking was promoted. People imported grape saplings from Europe and America, then planted grapes to make wine at Yamanashi prefecture. However, at that time the wine was sour and bitter not suiting Japanese’s taste. After trial and effort, a wine answering Japanese’s taste was successfully produced between the late Meiji and early Showa period.
A special grape species in Kagawa: “Kadainou R-1”
In Japan, the grapes for winemaking are commonly selected from Hokkaido, Yamanashi, Nagano, and Yamagata prefectures where low rainfall and large difference in temperature day and night happened. As the Kagawa prefecture also has a similar climate, a first winery was founded in 1988 in Shikoku named Sanuki Winery.
Grape was imported into Kagawa from Okayama prefecture during the Meiji period and usually planted at Shido-cho (Sanuki city nowadays). In 1980, for promoting local economies, Shido-cho planed a business project based on grape and founded the Sanuki Winery.
In Japan, there are two grape species for winemaking. One is a white grape species named Koshu, the other one is a red grape species named Muscat Bailey-A. As Terroir is the most important factor in wine’s taste, Sanuki Winery collaborates with the Faculty of Agriculture of Kagawa University for the research of a new grape species specific to Kagawa prefecture. In 2006, the special winemaking grape species named Kadainou R-1 was finally completed.
Red wine is full of polyphenol and anthocyanin which have antioxidative effect to prevent aging skin. (but please remember to drink with moderation)
The wine made from Kadainou R-1, named “Sauvageonne Savoureuse”, has 2 to 3 times the quantity of polyphenol and anthocyanin comparing to the normal wine. With the increase in health awareness, “Sauvageonne Savoureuse” is becoming the new popular wine on the Japanese dining table.
Besides the wine, Sanuki Winery also makes the grape juice named Sanuki RED for the people who do not like wine. Ordinarily, the grape for winemaking tastes sourer than normal ones, but Sanuki RED made from Kadainou R-1 has a rich and clean flavour, and you will not be tired of it.
Let travel to the beautiful Setouchi scenery as we savour a cup of wine
There is a series, named Setouchi series, in the Sanuki wines including Setouchi Gokkou (月光, the moonlight), Setouchi Akebono (曙, the dawn), and Setouchi Hyakkei ( 百景, the 100 famous sights).
Setouchi Gokkou is the red wine made from “Muscat Bailey-A” which is also produced in Kagawa prefecture. The dry yet fruity taste obtain by the low quantity of sugar, make a great match for a wide variety of foods.
Also made from “Muscat Bailey-A,” Setouchi Akebono is the rosé wine. You can feel the fruity and gorgeous flavour spreading in the mouth, with a light sweet and sour taste refreshing you. It is a perfect digestif wine.
Setouchi Hyakkei is the white wine made from “Delaware” grape which also grown in Kagawa prefecture. Because of the low-temperature fermentation process preventing the oxidization reaction, the wine keeps its fruity taste, sinking easily in your throat. This wine has been produced since the Sanuki Winery founded, and is still on the market proof of its high quality through the years.
Sanuki Winery – a great winery visit offering wine testing
In Kagawa prefecture, you can easily find some basic wines of Sanuki Winery in supermarkets or product center. However, if you have time, it is recommended to visit the Sanuki Winery located on the hill of Ogushi Natural Parkin Sanuki city.
At the Sanuki Winery product center, you can find all the wines produced in Kagawa prefecture, including seasonal limited fruit wines and new flavour wines. Additionally, visitors can even taste five kinds of wines or grape juices at the product sample area.
Besides, the most popular product, especially with children, is the Sanuki wine soft cream, without alcohol.
The winery is located next to the product center. Normally, only few people come here but the winery gets busy after the grape harvest in late September. Even if it is free to visit, if your group speaks Japanese and has over ten people, it is recommended to reserve a professional guided tour.
After you appreciated the wine made in Kagawa, why not going for a walk along the trail to the Ogushi Natural Park to enjoy the beautiful scenery of Setouchi Inland Sea.
Please be aware that the legal drinking age is different for each country. In Japan, only people above 20 years old are allowed to drink alcohol. If you would like to visit Sanuki Winery, do not forget this rule.
Access: Take taxi from Kotoden Shido station or JR Shido station for about 15 minutes. Take Sanuki city bus Shido- Oda line (志度～小田線) ( orange line, weekdays only) from Kotoden Shido station or JR Shido station, get off at Ogushi(大串) stop, then walk 2-minutes. The bus takes 20 minutes. Please refer to the time table on the link.
- Address:〒769-2103 香川県さぬき市小田2671-13
- Business hour: 9:00～17:00
- Closed on: Tuesday （open in National Holiday）, December 29 to January 3
- TEL: +81-87-895-1133
- WEB: http://www.sanuki-wine.jp
- Wi-Fi: N/A
- Language: Japanese
- Credit Card: N/A