Grace Winery is one of the larger, more well-known and perhaps even more prestigious Japanese wineries with some of their wines included in the JAL First Class Wine list, so it was one our list of wineries to check out while we were touring Katsunuma.
The tasting room is on the first floor of an old(ish), ivy covered building just opposite the Asaya Winery with a nice view overlooking Katsunuma and the Grace Vineyards.
Of all the wineries we visited this was probably the largest tasting room with a bar covering one entire wall and it was also the busiest – although at the time we visited that only meant about 20 people.
They had some free wines to taste and you could also pay to try some of their higher quality wines (such as those on the JAL flights). I think this was the first winery we went to that charged in the tasting room, not that that was a bad thing, but just thought I’d mention it.
We tried a few of their wines including their high end wines and ended up buying about 3 or 4 bottles (and like the Asaya Winery they arranged to ship them back for us).
To be honest, although their wines were some of the best we tried, I preferred the more informal, cosy atmosphere of some of the other wineries.
Or perhaps I was turned off by the barman snorting derisorily at me when I asked if they had any “freezing” or “ice wines”, as I’d just tried one from Soryu Winery and really liked it.
His voice told me that it was too hot in Yamanashi prefecture to make ice wine and his reaction told me I was an idiot to ask. Which, perhaps I was, but there is no reason to get all wine snobby about it.
Any road up, it’s one to add to your itinery in Katsunuma if you’re visiting and you can pop over the road to Asaya Winery for a more cosy tasting afterwards.
I’ve reviewed one excellent Grace Wine here:
Cuvee Misawa 2006