Grace Winery is family owned and has its roots in 1923 when Chotaro Misawa founded his winery in the village of Katsunuma in the prefecture of Yamanashi on the island of Honshu; Japan's largest island. He launched his wines under the “Chotaro” label. Third generation Kazuo Misawa trained as a banker before returning to his family's winery in 1953. He established the Chuo Budoushu company, and called his wines Grace, after the Three
Graces of Greek mythology. Kazuo had great belief in, and passion for, Koshu the signature grape variety of Japan, which is thought to have been the only grape cultivated in the country until the end of the Edo period (1603- 1868). Yamanashi was the first region in Japan to be awarded a GI (Geographical Indication). It is an inland valley, enjoying long sunshine hours, with diurnal variations and relatively little rain. It is also flanked by mountain water sources, and this together with the porous well-drained soils, offers the perfect conditions for the cultivation of grapes. There are two sub-regions. Toriibira has a high sand content in the clay soil, and produces Koshu with a particularly powerful expression of terroir. Hishiyama is the largest grape growing area in Katsunuma, and here the soils are diverse, and produce Koshu with a good balance of sugar and acidity. In 2002 Grace acquired the 12 hectare Misawa Vineyard in Akeno, in the prefecture of Yamanashi which, in the foothills of the Kayagatake Mountain range, planted at 700 metres above sea level has the longest hours of sunshine in Japan. Here Koshu, Chardonnay, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot are organically grown, and are vinified plot by plot. Grace Wine is now run by fourth generation Shigekawzu Misawa, and he is as passionate about Koshu as his ancestors. These are elegant, delicate wines - the essence of Japan.