Japan: Geography and climate

Appears in

Oxford Companion to Wine

Oxford Companion to Wine

By Jancis Robinson

Published 2006

  • About
Three prefectures (Yamanashi, Nagano, and Yamagata) on the main island Honshu account for almost 40% of the 17,600 ha/43,564 acres (a little less than in the early years of the century) under vine throughout Japan.
Production is in the order of 198,300 tonnes of grapes per year, although only one-tenth of these grapes is used for winemaking. The bulk of the production is for the table, and the grape varieties under cultivation and viticultural practices reflect this.
Japan’s climate is not naturally suited to viticulture and successful grape-growing has always been a struggle.