A Japanese white wine made by Denis Dubourdieu has been approved for import to the EU.

The wine – called Shizen – is produced with the help of Bordeaux consultant Dubordieu by the Asagiri Wine Company. It is made from the indigenous Koshu grape, grown entirely in Japan.

This is the first time a Japanese wine has been approved by the EU. Until January 2008, no Japanese wines were legally allowed to be imported into the EU.

This restriction primarily existed because of a lack of regulation in wine production. A wine only had to contain 5% of domestically-grown grapes, for example, to be able to qualify as Japanese wine.

Shizen is unchaptilised and has 11% alcohol. Dubordieu, one of Bordeaux’s most renowned white wine consultants, has worked with the project for the past five years. He has been rewarded with a namecheck on the label: ‘Shizen 2006, Cuvee Denis Dubordieu.’

‘There is an international market for wines with a real sense of origin,’ Dubordieu told decanter.com. ‘The world doesn’t need another Chardonnay, but there seems to be a real durable interest in typicity and provenance.’

Shizen arrived in the UK at the end of January 2008, and will be sold at the Michelin-starred Japanese restaurant Umu in Mayfair, London.

It will also be available at the Greenhouse restaurant within the same group, also in Mayfair, both by the glass and by the bottle.

Written by Jane Anson in Bordeaux