Marafuji Logo

The Marufuji Winery is situated in the major concentration of vineyards and wineries, in Katsunuma, Yamanashi Prefecture just north of Mount Fuji. They have been in operation since 1890 and name this wine, their top white, after the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam.

Grapes have been grown here for centuries, indeed the Kôshu grape was brought to Japan from the Middle East, via China and the Silk Route as long ago as the eighth century. However for most of that time it has been an eating grape, which is certainly what it tastes like on this showing. Wine production only really got going from the late nineteenth century when Japan started opening up to European and American influences. Even today less than 10% of grape production is for wine and the great majority of this is hardy hybrid varieties that can cope with the humid climate.

Kôshu has been produced as a single varietal only for the last ten years when it was realised that this could be the signature grape for the whole industry. Certainly it seems to be very Japanese to me, it is subtle and delicate and well made and could partner the similarly subtle cuisine very well.