A Visit to Takeda in Kaminoyama
 January 25 2012, 10:00

Click For Large ViewIn Japan, Saito Mokichi is a well-known poet and songwriter from the Meiji era who wrote about the life of peasant farmers. I was not in Kaminoyama, though, to follow in his footsteps, but, again with Miyuki Katori, to visit Noriko Kishidaira (pictured here in the current snow) from Takeda winery. Although her family has grown grapes, persimmons and cherries here for generations, it was only her grandfather who first started making wine in 1920. About fifty years later, her father planted Vitis Vinifera, one of the first to do so in Japan. He had gone to Europe influenced by the organic practices espoused by Masaoka Fukuoka and 'saw the light' when he drank a bottle of Château Margaux. His daughter, the current director and winemaker, also went to France to study in Macon, but it was only when she met Nicolas Joly at a seminar that he held in Yamanashi in 2004 that she began pushing some biodynamic buttons. One of the pioniers of sparkling production, she started making a Chardonnay Brut in 1989, named Yoshiko after her mother. The 2005 that I tasted with her would show well in Champagne, but the 2007 Château Takeda, a Bordeaux blend, is the estate's best known wine. Comments


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