It was a hot summer day after a tayphoon, when a friend of mine and I visited Enzan Wine. I will promote his 2 white wines in October at a wine event together with my California wine and so wanted to wanted to get some feedback on the wines and to understand how Mr. Hagiwara, the owner and the vintner wants me to promote his wine.
The harvesting season has started already and he was pressing Delaware that day from early in the morning but he welcomed us warmly.
When I visited his winery in 2014, my tongue was not yet developed for wine, so although all of the wines were good, I couldn't discern how different and unique one varietal could be depending on the terroir, climate and brewery technique. But I remembered clearly that he said he wanted to focus on the Japanese varieties and wanted to see how he could evolve them. He took this path at time when most vintners in Japan had started planting international varieties. I couldn't help myself from asking him if I could export his wine one day and he said sure, smiling, even though he knew I didn't have a license to export wine back then. And here I am, two years later, going to sell his wine domestically. Life is an unpredictable thing!
Mr.Hagiwara built a nice cousy tasting space recently and that was where we had the testing.
He explained to us how he discovered the unique terroir of Omogawa, what he did to get the best out from each varietal, the climate of 2015 and so on.
It was almost shocking to me, as I listened to the vintner's explanation, how different and unique each Koshu wine he made tasted.
An hour and half past quickly by with the explaining of the brand. Wow, that was fast!
At the end, I asked him what his reasons are for sticking with Japanese the varietals. He said " For one, because I'm Japanese. And another reason is that I believe that the true recognition of Japanese Wine will not be accomplished until Japanese varietals start to be planted and their grapes press by winemakers all over the world. And I want to be there when that happens." He plays cool, but is a very passionate man inside.