This year's Decanter World Wine Awards Regional Trophy for White Middle, Far East & Asia over £15 Grace, Cuvée Misawa Akeno Koshu, Yamanashi, Chubu, Japan 2013 (11.5%)
No other Golds in this category
Grace has been family-owned since its inception in 1923. Since 1982 it has been run by fourth-generation Shigekazu Misawa and in 2007 his daughter Ayana Misawa joined the family company. She was also responsible for this landmark Trophy-winner – the first for Japan at the DWWA.
Misawa has enjoyed a diverse wine education, having studied in bordeaux, burgundy and Stellenbosch, in addition to working vintages in Argentina, Chile, Germany, Champagne and Australia’s Hunter Valley and Tasmania. She returned to the family nest in 2007 and is now chief winemaker.
Grace has undertaken a huge amount of research to identify the best sites for the Koshu grape, as well as introducing vertical shoot positioning of the vines (as opposed to the more traditional pergola trellising), which gives smaller berries with thicker skins and more concentrated flavours in the final wine.
Misawa feels Koshu realises its full potential in Akeno. This patch of land stands at 700m altitude and while definitely cool-climate, it also enjoys more sunshine hours during the growing season than anywhere else in Japan. This helps the grapes reach full ripeness – with evidently fine results.
Written by Decanter