Guidebook "Sorachi as No,1 in Hokkaido! Draft 2

by Kazu

As per the previous posting, I post the draft of the English guidebook of Sorachi sub-prefectural area.

If any difficulties to read and understand, please give me the comments on how they should be corrected or added.

The photos for the guidebook is being selected by a certain NPO now, so I post the photos of Tsurunuma Winery and Vineyard this time.

Draft 2
The precursor of HOUSUI WINEARY was “Iwamizawa Special Product Grape promotion Association”. The winery obtained the license to make alcohol and started to make wine by themselves in 2006. Beside the vineyard, there is a building with the red gable roof that has the room for making wine and wine shop on the ground floor, and the lookout on the second floor from where the vineyard can be seen. The room for making 
wine can be seen through the sheet glass wall and how the grapes are squeezed can be seen in harvest. Their line-up of wine is “the series of snow genealogy” made from the grapes made from only the grapes of their own vineyard, Chardonnay, Kerner and Lemberger. Other than that, they sell various kinds of wine such as “RICCA Series” made from each kind of grapes produced in Hokkaido, and “HOUSUI Series” at reasonable price. Next to the red gable, an ice cream shop is open from the end of April through the end of October. “Red grape ice cream” and “White cream ice cream” with the sauce made from the grape juice are popular in the shop. Please try them!
MAOI WINERY is backside of Heidi Stock Farm. A couple raises the grapes and sell the wine by themselves. Their annual amount of producing wine is the minimum limit of the license allowed to make alcohol, 6,000 litter. “This is the smallest winery in Japan,” said the owner Mr. Takashi MUKAI. The most popular wine produced in this winery is the red wine named “YAMA (Mountain) Sauvignon” which is made from the hybrid of wild mountain grape and Cabernet Sauvignon. It has 
good reputation that it strikes the balance of the moderate sour taste and the fruit flavor. On top of that, they make very rare wine called “Iwamatsu” made from the hybrid of four kinds of wild grapes, that was developed by the grape researcher Mr. Seishiro IWAMATSU who passed away. There are worshipers who are waiting for the wine every year albeit a bottle of the wine is 31,500 Japanese Yen because each piece of the grape is very small that very little grape juice can be extracted by squeezing them. Their wine shop is open from April through December but only on Saturday, Sunday and holidays, 10:00 to 17:00. As a part of the wine on sale can be tasted, would you find your favorite one?
Eager to know how the grapes are raised
TSURUNUMA WINERY owned by HOKKAIDO WINE Inc. has the biggest vineyard in Japan. It has the history of about forty years since it started the experimental cultivation by planting the sapling imported from Germany. A variety of awards have been given in the domestic wine competitions again and again to “TSURUNUMA Series” of wine made from the grapes of its own vineyards such as Müller-Thurgau(white), Bacchus(white), Trollinger(Rose), Lemberger(red),  Zweigeltrebe(red).
It also produces the very rare wine made from the European high-class grapes such as Weißburgunder, Traminer and Riesling that are rarely raised in Japan.  Every year, it starts to sell all kinds of wine on the last Sunday in August after make each barrel of wine matured for two years. On the first day of sale, “TSURUNUMA Wine Festival” is held every year. As the whole-grilled lamb produced in Hokkaido and culinary delicacies cooked by the chef from very popular restaurant in Sorachi sub-prefectural area can be savored in the festival, over 4,000 people swamp to the festival everyyear. Other than that, from the middle of September, wine grape and table grape picking can be enjoyable for some cost.( Grape picking ends once all the grapes are picked up.) The grapevine can be seen freely (Please mind P’s and Q’s;) and the limited bottles of wine can be purchased at the wine shop in the premises.

The experimental cultivation of grapes has been started in Utashinai City in 1992 with the slogan of “The town of black diamond to the hometown colored with grapes.” Since 2003, UTASHINAI TAIYO FARM succeeded the company which had run the vineyard and continues to raise grapes. It makes its original red wine “Penke Utaushunai” from the grapes raised in its own vineyard, such as Sibel 13053, Zweigeltrebe, Dornfelder and so on. It is said
the wine has the peculiar aroma of some kinds of mineral because the vineyard was developed on the area that has been the place of open-pit coal mining and the ground contains much mineral. Goats and sheep are also raised in the farm and its wine shop is available but a phone call should be placed beforehand for looking around the farm because the farm is run by a few staff. It also sells white wine and web shopping is available on its web site.

  The people who saw the fields of NAKAZAWA VINEYARD would be astounded. Because various kinds of plants and flowers flourish in the vineyard as if it was the field of wild plant. Since its open in 2002, no weed-killer and chemical synthetic fertilizer have been given to the vineyard and the weeds have been cut and taken off to be used as the natural manure for vineyard and other fields. The vineyard sells its original wine “KURISAWA BLANC” which is made from the grapes raised in the field where various kinds of creatures are co-existing and is made with the natural ferment sticking to the fruit. “KURISAWA BLANC” is blend Vin Blanc made from Gewuerztraminer, Pinot Gris and Kerner. Contracted winery in Tochigi Prefecture is making the wine but the grapes are raised by themselves. Shipping of the wine made from the grapes raised in the vineyard will start in September of the next year of harvest year. Vineyard tour and direst sales can be available but phone call should be placed beforehand because the vineyard is run by Mr. and Mrs.Nakazawa.

If you could give me comments to make the guidebook better, i would appreciate it so much!


  1. Kazu - I would be happy to help you by editing your English text (I am an old journalist). Can you send me the TEXT (no photos necessary) in a Word document, and I can do it quickly. If this is OK, please email it to me at glund22@gmail.com

    Cheers Greg

  2. These Vitis coignetiae hybrids are fascinating. Coignetiae grows well in the British Isles, they could perhaps be useful here too.