In Yamanashi prefecture, Katsunuma lies in the beautiful countryside north of Mount Fuji. Katsunuma area is one of the Japan’s most famous kingdoms of fruit where grapes, peaches and plums are grown. The history of grape-growing is long and it has started in about the 17th century. There are 31 wineries, large and small, in Katsunuma where 27% of Japanese wine is produced. In October when vines are laden with grapes, lots of people come to enjoy visiting wineries and grape picking.
Let’s start with the well-known winery of Mercian called Chateau Mercian. At Chateau Mercian, the entire process of winemaking is explained. Also, you can take a tour typical of wineries which allows you to visit a building with a history and a cellar where wine is stored and to look at barrels used for fermentation and bottling process. The highlight is wine tasting. The winery has limited-edition wine which can be purchased only at the winery.
After learning about wine, the next stop is a simple but long-established winery, Haramo Wine. You can pick grapes here starting from September through October. Wine grapes that can be picked vary depending on the season, but the grapes known worldwide are available to pick. There is a nice café converted from an old residence where you can have the luxury of spending leisurely time enjoying wine and lunch.