There must be few things more wonderful in life than the act of enjoying a glass of fine wine in a beautiful setting. It is a simple pleasure that I had almost forgotten the value of, until today when I visited the Takahata Winery.
Before my visit, I was fully unaware that Japan was creating its own vintages. Whilst I knew of the high quality and wide variety of sake that is produced here, Japan’s wines have been relatively underplayed to the international community. This is a shame, for a visit to this winery reveals a beautiful selection of lovingly-created wines that deserve to be celebrated and enjoyed by more people.
The Takahata Winery is located a short distance from the JR Takahata Station, and is easily accessible from the station by foot. This pretty spot is worth a visit should you find yourself in the region, if not simply to educate yourself on the incredible variety of high quality wines that Japan’s Tohoku region has to offer. Opened as recently as 1990, this scenic winery produces both reds and whites, which are all on the sweet side, but are equally delicious, nonetheless. A particular favourite of mine was the chardonnay brut, as well as the special “Japanese” red I was told to try. Sold alongside these sweet and fruity bottles is, of course, some stellar sake. If wine isn’t really your favourite choice of tipple, I highly recommend you sample some of this gorgeous rice wine. A firm favourite amongst local visitors, it sells like hot cakes, and there is no surprise why. It goes down way too smooth to say no to a bottle.
The winery has a small on-site café selling pizza, hot dogs and ice cream, as well as soft drinks and coffee. The winery shop is also stocked to the brim with artisanal jams, cured meats and other local treats for you to pick up alongside your vintage of choice. You won’t be going home thirsty or hungry, or even empty handed, after a visit to this delightful spot.
It was a real joy to discover some of Japan’s exceptional wines, not least because of the warm people working at the Takahata Winery. A trip here makes for a lovely day out, adding yet another reason as to why you should put this quaint little town on your Japanese bucket list.
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South African born Anna is a writer with a passion for photography, food and travel. After a sojourn in Vietnam, she moved to Edinburgh where she completed her Masters degree in modern literature. Asia has captured her imagination, and she hopes to see much more of the continent in the near future.