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Echigo Winery

Forget Sake, Niigata has delicious wine, too

Although Niigata is perhaps best-known for its nihon-shu, or sake, Echigo Winery shows another side of Niigata. While the prefecture is revered for its pure water and delicious rice--both great ingredients for making sake--the fertile soil also produces delicious grapes from which to make world-class wines. Using grapes grown from bushes instead of vines, Echigo wines tend to have a sweeter finish, offering a wonderful complement to bottles from traditional vineyards.

The winery offers a showroom with wine tasting and a gelato cafe. There, you can sample the different varieties available before choosing which bottle(s) to take home with you. The showroom also carries a variety of locally-produced foods and crafts that make for great gifts. If you have time, there is a delicious Italian-inspired cafe on the premises, called Budo no Hana, or Flower of the Grape. The food is good, and the atmosphere and scenery are even better.

Getting there

Echigo winery is a 3-5 minute taxi ride from Urasa station, which is accessible via the Joetsu Shinkansen.

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