A Vineyard Preserving the Traditional Taste and Challenging Growing of Wine Grapes
Kitsuta Industry (Kamiida Vineyard)
Address:Odakomachi, Miyoshi, Hiroshima
Located in the east of Miyoshi city, Odakomachi, rich in natural beauty and surrounded by mountains, Kamiida Vineyard is one of the oldest vineyard in Miyoshi city. One of their contract farmers, Kitsuta Industry’s representative, Rei Kitsuta, took over his grandparents’ vineyard in 1996 when he was 21. Preserving the traditional taste of the grapes, he has been challenging vine culture for wine, too.
Kamiida Vineyard has a direct sales store to sell grapes that are harvested in the morning. Customers can buy the grapes directly from the farmers tasting and asking questions. As one of the farmers, Kitsuta says, “We can sell and talk to customers directly, so being able to hear what customers think about the grapes directly makes us happy. Hearing ‘It’s delicious’ encourages us a lot.” Their grandparents grew only Muscat Bailey A and Delaware grapes, but to respond to the customers who said “We want to eat many kinds of grapes.” now they are growing about 10 kinds of grapes. One of the recommendations is the traditional one, Delaware grape. Fresh ones have bright green stems and a little bit of white powder called bloom on the skin. They are small but very sweet, yet also slightly sour. The pleasant aftertaste makes it so you can’t stop eating them. The smaller the grape the more care they require, but we’d like to keep on producing them. I’d like to preserve the taste that my grandparents created and has been loved by so many customers. “
In 1964, Kamiida Vineyard was founded as the first vineyard in Miyoshi city, as an agricultural producers’ cooperative corporation with a 5 hectares farm and 8 farmers. Now they are running a 9 hectares farm with 4 farmers. Kitsuta owns 1.5 hectares of it. “I have been familiar with grapes since I was young, but I had no idea growing them was so hard. It’s heavy work.” Between the cultivation and harvest period the 4 farmers have multiple training sessions, and in winter when the cultivation starts they go to other prefectures where vine culture is prospering, such as Yamanashi, for observation. “Cultivation methods depend on the area. The area where the difference in temperature between daytime and nighttime is small, vine culture requires something for grapes to turn color. We’d like to keep researching the cultivation method that is more suitable for this area.” Kitsuta will keep making an effort to make great grapes.
Pursuing the quality of grapes with brewers,
Their wine became one of the best of the world
The wine made from 100% of Miyoshi grapes, “TOMOÉ” is becoming popular inside and outside of Japan. The brewer is Miyoshi Winery, and as one of their contract farmers, Kitsuta started growing grapes for wine in 2007. By 2013, thanks to the advice from Ota Naoyuki who works as a brewer for the winery, the cultivation techniques to make his grapes more suitable for wine had certainly improved. “To make the taste of wine rich, the grapes have to be lean, so I’ll be careful not to water too much. I also changed the cultivation method making it less fruits are harvested from a single branch.” The red wine 100% made from the 13’s grapes won the first prize at a national competition in 2015. In 2019 the wine “Muscat Bailey A Kitsuda Vineyard” 100% made from 17’s grapes won the second prize at The International Wine Challenge (IWC), a wine tasting competition held in Britain. “Being needed is great pleasure. For both wine and edible grapes, I’d like to keep on making things that make everyone happy.”
|所在地||Odakomachi, Miyoshi, Hiroshima|