Vineyards

The Land that Shapes Château Mercian

Map

Château Mercian cultivates Japanese grape varieties such as Koshu and Muscat Bailey A in Yamanashi Prefecture, and high-quality European varieties such as Chardonnay and Merlot in Nagano Prefecture. Many years of experimentation have given us the experience required to select the perfect grape for each terroir.

Yamanashi

  • Yamanashi MAP

    Scenic Yamanashi Prefecture, located at the base of Mount Fuji, has a long and rich history as the birthplace of Japanese wine. The Château Mercian winery is located in Katsunuma, an area just east of the centre of the prefecture. The winery uses the Japanese grape variety Koshu and world class Cabernet Sauvignon from its own Jyonohira vineyard.

  • Jyonohira Vineyard

    The Jyonohira Vineyard in the Katsunuma District adopted vertical shoot positioning cultivation 1984 in an attempt to product the finest Cabernet Sauvignon in Japan. The district has a large temperature difference between day and night, and perfect climate conditions for ripening grapes. Located at 550-600 m above sea level on clay soil, the Jyonohira Vineyard occupies a gentle slope blessed with plenty of sunlight and air. The representative range produced by this vineyard is called Jyonohira Ortus, which means "origin" in Latin. The name was chosen to celebrate the fact that the Jyonohira Vineyard was the first place Merlot grapes were cultivated. Different varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot are blended to produce a finely balanced wine that fully realises the potential of the Jyonohira Vineyard.

    Altitude
    550-600m
    Soli
    Clay
    Grape Variety
    Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot
    Training System
    Vertical shoot positioning
  • Iwaimura Vineyard

    A vineyard in the Katsunuma Winery, named for its association with the old village of Iwaimura. Despite its small size, this vineyard cultivates around 20 grape varieties on trellises and is bursting with potential.

    Altitude
    387m
    Soli
    Clay
    Grape Variety
    Merlot, Chardonnay others
    Training System
    Vertical shoot positioning
  • Katsunuma District

    Believed to be the birthplace of the Japanese indigenous variety Koshu, this area has long been famed as a grape growing region because of the wide difference between daytime and night time temperatures.

    Altitude
    380-450m
    Soli
    Gravel, Clay
    Grape Variety
    Koshu,
    Muscut Bailey A
    Training System
    Overhead trellis

    Believed to be the birthplace of the Japanese indigenous variety Koshu, this area has long been famed as a grape growing region because of the wide difference between daytime and night time temperatures.

  • Iwasaki District

    Located to the south of the Katsunuma area of Koshu city, this vineyard is divided across level ground and slope, mostly on gravel and clay soil. Grapes grown here have excellent color and contain plenty of polyphenols. The Koshu grapes from this district create bold flavous with structure. Two young men left the Iwasaki District for France in 1877 to learn how to make wine. This knowledge was passed down through the generations, and their descendants grow Koshu in the Tsuchiya Vineyard and Takano Vineyard today.

    Altitude
    380m
    Soli
    Gravel, Clay
    Grape Variety
    Koshu
    Training System
    Overhead trellis

    Located to the south of the Katsunuma area of Koshu city, this vineyard is divided across level ground and slope, mostly on gravel and clay soil. Grapes grown here have excellent color and contain plenty of polyphenols. The Koshu grapes from this district create bold flavous with structure. Two young men left the Iwasaki District for France in 1877 to learn how to make wine. This knowledge was passed down through the generations, and their descendants grow Koshu in the Tsuchiya Vineyard and Takano Vineyard today.

  • Iwade District

    Located in the north-east of the Kofu Basin, on the terraced right bank of the Fuefuki River that flows through Yamanashi City. This area has excellent drainage thanks to its sandy soil.

    Altitude
    400m
    Soli
    Gravel
    Grape Variety
    Koshu,
    Muscut Bailey A
    Training System
    Overhead trellis

    Located in the north-east of the Kofu Basin, on the terraced right bank of the Fuefuki River that flows through Yamanashi City. This area has excellent drainage thanks to its sandy soil.

  • Tamamoro District

    Located on the right bank of the Fuefuki River and at low altitude in the centre of the Kofu Basin, this area is renowned for having the fastest growth in Yamanashi Prefecture.

    Altitude
    255m
    Soli
    Gravel
    Grape Variety
    Koshu
    Training System
    Overhead trellis

    Located on the right bank of the Fuefuki River and at low altitude in the centre of the Kofu Basin, this area is renowned for having the fastest growth in Yamanashi Prefecture.

  • Hosaka District

    This hilly area in the south west of the Kofu Basin experiences large differences between daytime and night time temperatures, which in turn produces distinctive characteristics in the harvested grapes.

    Altitude
    350-600m
    Soli
    Clay
    Grape Variety
    Koshu,
    Muscut Bailey A
    Training System
    Overhead trellis

    This hilly area in the south west of the Kofu Basin experiences large differences between daytime and night time temperatures, which in turn produces distinctive characteristics in the harvested grapes.

  • Futaba District

    Located in a hilly area to the north west of Yamanashi Prefecture, the area's south-facing slopes have little rainfall but abundant sunshine. High daytime and low night time temperatures produce high quality grapes with vibrant acidity.

    Altitude
    400m
    Soli
    Brown forest soil
    Grape Variety
    Koshu
    Training System
    Overhead trellis

    Located in a hilly area to the north west of Yamanashi Prefecture, the area's south-facing slopes have little rainfall but abundant sunshine. High daytime and low night time temperatures produce high quality grapes with vibrant acidity.

  • Fuefuki District

    Positioned in the center of Yamanashi Prefecture, this area is located on the left bank of the Fuefuki River. Consisting of a flat, alluvial fan located at around 300 m altitude, it has excellent drainage and produces grapes with concentrated flavor.

    Altitude
    350m
    Soli
    Gravel
    Grape Variety
    Koshu
    Training System
    Overhead trellis

    Positioned in the center of Yamanashi Prefecture, this area is located on the left bank of the Fuefuki River. Consisting of a flat, alluvial fan located at around 300 m altitude, it has excellent drainage and produces grapes with concentrated flavor.

Nagano

  • Nagano MAP

    Nagano Prefecture is famous as the largest producer by volume of wine grapes in Japan.
    1985 saw the start of vertical shoot positioning cultivation of Chardonnay in the Hokushin region in the north of Nagano Prefecture, which is traversed by the magnificent Chikuma river.
    Cultivation of Merlot began in 1976 in the Kikyogahara area near Shiojiri, and the 20hectare Mariko vineyard was founded in Ueda in 2003. These are the three main areas where we produce our high-quality wines.

  • Hokushin Left Bank

    This vineyard occupies a steep slope that traces the banks of the Chikuma River in the north of Nagano Prefecture. The area is perfect for maturing Chardonnay thanks to the excellent drainage provided by alluvial soil deposited by the Chikuma River, and a climate with low rainfall, high daytime and low night time temperatures. Located to the north of Nagano Prefecture, the left bank of the Hokushin District is rich in clay soil which produces beautifully balanced wines rich in aroma with gentle acidity. The representative wine from this area is named Rivalis, after the Latin word for "river" The name was chosen to represent the sublime Chardonnay grown on the left and right banks of the Chikuma River.

    Altitude
    300-360m
    Soli
    Clay
    Grape Variety
    Chardonnayn, Merlot
    Training System
    Vertical shoot positioning
  • Hokushin Right Bank

    This vineyard occupies a steep slope that traces the banks of the Chikuma River in the north of Nagano Prefecture. The area is perfect for maturing Chardonnay thanks to the excellent drainage provided by alluvial soil deposited by the Chikuma River, and a climate with low rainfall, high daytime and low night time temperatures. The right bank area of the Hokushin District is located in Takayama Village, part of Suzaka City. The soil here is rich in gravel, producing wines with rich, complex aromas, minerality, and a firm structure. The representative wine from this area is named Rivalis, after the Latin word for "river" The name was chosen to represent the sublime Chardonnay grown on the left and right banks of the Chikuma River.

    Altitude
    430-600m
    Soli
    Gravel
    Grape Variety
    Chardonnayn, Merlot,
    Cabernet Sauvignon
    Training System
    Vertical shoot positioning
  • Mariko Vineyard

    Opened in 2003, The vineyard is named for the historical figure Prince Mariko, son of the Emperor Kinmei, who ruled this area in the late 6th century. Located at 650 m above sea level on hilly terrain, the area has extremely clayey soil. The magnificent vineyard spans over 20 hectares, and a winery overlooking it was completed in 2019. We aim to increase quality even further through overseeing the entire process, from the vineyard to the winemaking process. The representative wine from this area is Mariko Omnis, taken from the Latin word for "everything". The name was chosen because this wine expresses the full potential of the vineyard terroir.

    Altitude
    650m
    Soli
    Strong clay
    Grape Variety
    Merlot, Chardonnay,
    Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Franc,
    Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, others
    Training System
    Vertical shoot positioning
  • Kikyogahara District

    Merlot was first grown in the Kikyogahara District in 1976. Château Mercian Shinshu Kikyogahara Merlot 1985 was released in 1989, and won the Grand Gold Medal at the International Competition of Wine in Ljubljana. The vineyard continued to win medals and earn worldwide recognition as a region producing superb Merlot. Kikyogahara Merlot Signature is produced by selecting the finest Merlot-producing areas in the Kikyogahara District, followed by rigorous barrel selection. Every drop of this iconic wine is worthy of the maker’s pride, confidence and signature. The Kikyogahara Winery opened in September 2018.

    Altitude
    740m
    Soli
    Gravel
    Grape Variety
    Merlot
    Training System
    Overhead trellis,
    Vertical shoot positioning
  • Azumino District

    The village of Ikeda is located to the north of the Azumino District of Nagano Prefecture. The large basin known as the Matsumoto Plain is cradled to the west by the northern Japanese Alps and to the east by the Nakayama mountains. One part, the Azumino District, is under development as new growing area for Château Mercian. The vineyard is located on a slope, on soil with plenty of gravel from the northern Japanese Alps. This gives it excellent drainage, which combined with low rainfall and large difference between daytime and night time temperatures makes the area ideal for grape cultivation.

    Altitude
    600m
    Soli
    Gravel
    Grape Variety
    Merlot, Chardonnay
    Training System
    Vertical shoot positioning

    The village of Ikeda is located to the north of the Azumino District of Nagano Prefecture. The large basin known as the Matsumoto Plain is cradled to the west by the northern Japanese Alps and to the east by the Nakayama mountains. One part, the Azumino District, is under development as new growing area for Château Mercian. The vineyard is located on a slope, on soil with plenty of gravel from the northern Japanese Alps. This gives it excellent drainage, which combined with low rainfall and large difference between daytime and night time temperatures makes the area ideal for grape cultivation.

  • Kataoka District

    A vineyard covering approximately 9 hectares was opened in the Kataoka District near Shiojiri in Nagano Prefecture in 2016. This was the first attempt at growing grapes on highlands, at an altitude of around 800 m. Annual rainfall in the area is around 1,000-1,200 mm. The area benefits from plentiful sunlight and relatively strong winds that keep it well ventilated, and the soil is a gravel type with plenty of rock. The higher altitude means a later harvest compared to the Kikyogahara District.

    Altitude
    800m
    Soli
    Gravel
    Grape Variety
    Merlot,
    Cabernet Franc
    Training System
    Vertical shoot positioning

    A vineyard covering approximately 9 hectares was opened in the Kataoka District near Shiojiri in Nagano Prefecture in 2016. This was the first attempt at growing grapes on highlands, at an altitude of around 800 m. Annual rainfall in the area is around 1,000-1,200 mm. The area benefits from plentiful sunlight and relatively strong winds that keep it well ventilated, and the soil is a gravel type with plenty of rock. The higher altitude means a later harvest compared to the Kikyogahara District.

Fukushima

  • Fukushima MAP

    Contract cultivation emerged out of discussions on how to make use of fallow land around Niitsuru in Fukushima Prefecture in 1975. Niitsuru District has many features that make it suitable for growing grapes, such as gentle hills, sunlight, good drainage and large temperature differences between day and night. However, it had long suffered from issues with autumn rain in the period just before harvest. Rain shelters were constructed in 1998, resulting in a dramatic increase in quality. This led to the creation of Château Mercian Niitsuru Chardonnay in 2001, which has developed over time into a national and international award-winning region representative of Japanese wine.

  • Niitsuru District

    The Niitsuru District in Aizumisatomachi, Fukushima Prefecture, is one of the oldest contract cultivation areas. Chardonnay has been grown here since 1976. One feature of the climate in this area is frequent rain before the harvest period, so rain shelters were put in place to improve the quality of the grapes. This measure resulted in rich Chardonnay with distinctive flavors.

    Altitude
    210-240m
    Soli
    Gravel
    Grape Variety
    Chardonnay, Alvarrinho
    Training System
    Overhead trellis,
    Vertical shoot positioning

    The Niitsuru District in Aizumisatomachi, Fukushima Prefecture, is one of the oldest contract cultivation areas. Chardonnay has been grown here since 1976. One feature of the climate in this area is frequent rain before the harvest period, so rain shelters were put in place to improve the quality of the grapes. This measure resulted in rich Chardonnay with distinctive flavors.

Akita

  • Akita MAP

    Riesling was planted in Omori in 1982 after a call for industrial promotion. The first Michinoku Akita Omori Wine released in 1983, and a dry style was added to the range in 1991. Cultivation practices were overhauled in 2003 to improve quality, including provision of rain shelters, and Château Mercian Omori Riesling 2008 was released in 2010.

  • Omori District

    We have been growing Riesling in this area, near Yokote in Akita Prefecture, since 1982. Working in close partnership with the growers, we spare no effort in producing fine wines despite the cool climate.

    Altitude
    45-90m
    Soli
    Clay
    Grape Variety
    Riesling, Kerner
    Training System
    Overhead trellis

    We have been growing Riesling in this area, near Yokote in Akita Prefecture, since 1982. Working in close partnership with the growers, we spare no effort in producing fine wines despite the cool climate.