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Expert’s Choice: Koshu

Attentions are increasingly turning to lower-alcohol options, so the time may have arrived for these delicate, clean-fruited dry whites from Japan – summer’s the ideal time to try.

Koshu (‘甲州’) is a white grape variety, with a name originating from the ancient name of Yamanashi prefecture in the central south of Honshu island.

It is the most-produced wine grape in Japan, and 96% of Koshu wines are produced in the Yamanashi prefecture, where plantings are estimated at about 450ha.

Production in 2018 reached almost 3,300 tonnes in Yamanashi, according to Japan’s national tax agency (though not all used for wine production), followed by 78t in Shimane and 27t in Yamagata.

Scroll down for Hayato Kojima’s pick of 18 Koshu wines to try

Hayato Kojima’s selection of Koshu wines to try

The wines are sorted by score in style order; sparkling, white and orange. 

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