Recently, the International Organization of Vine and Wine (OIV) approved a new Japanese grape variety called Yamasachi, which will be included in the OIV 2021 edition of the International List of Grape Varieties and the Global Overview of Grape Varieties.
Photo courtesy of: Hokkaido News Agency
Yamayuki, a red grape variety from the Ikeda-cho region of Hokkaido, is the third Japanese indigenous grape variety to be recognized by the OIV, following Koshu 2010 and Muscat Bailey A 2013. Thanks to this recognition, Yamayuki wines can be exported to EU countries.
The Yamayuki variety was born in 1978 in Ikeda Town from a cross between the Kiyomi grape and a wild grape. Kiyomi is a clone of the French hybrid variety Seibel 13053. The first Yamayuki wine was made in 1995 and went commercial in 1999.
Ikeda town, located in the eastern part of Hokkaido, was severely damaged by earthquakes and cold weather in the mid-1950s. The town"s mayor at the time, the late Kaneyasu Marutani, suggested introducing grape growing to the town, and in 1963, the Ikeda Winery (Tokachi wine) was built, the first municipally managed winery in Japan. The Ikeda Grape and Wine Research Institute has been focusing on the development of grape varieties, such as Yamayuki and Kiyomi, which are among their latest research results.
Yoshihiro Yasui, the mayor of Ikeda Town, said at a press conference that the local government and vintners will further improve the quality of Yamayuki wines and the recognition of the variety in domestic and international markets.