I had one last day in Nagano, thanks to Kinki Nippon tourist (for which I decided to write a series of honest articles – if you haven’t read them, go back and read Day 1, Day 2 and Day 3) and I had one last winery to tick off my list.
After a quick spot of breakfast I departed at 8:30am to what is quite possibly the most beautiful winery in all of Nagano, maybe Japan – St. Cousair winery (I haven’t been to every winery, but I’m probably not far off the mark).
Founded in 1990, St. Cousair winery was started after the owner came to the Nagano region 25 years ago to ski, but fell in love with the area and decided to start a business here. The winery grounds and layout are flawlessly designed for both functionality and a beautiful aesthetic. Also welcomed to the winery with free mulled wine cooked over a fire pit is sure to make a good first impression to anyone! Now in it’s second generation, the winery cultivates 1 hectare of merlot vineyards and 10 hectares of chardonnay (which happen to go down quite well) – with only 10 bunches of grapes produced from each vine. One kilogram of grapes comes from each vine, in turn only producing one bottle of wine. The low amount of wine produced from these European grapes means that only limited runs are available, like the sparkling wine made using the champagne method from France, with only 1000 bottles produced each year. Not only desiring to be one of the 1000, but also because the bubbly tasted delicately fruity and sweet, did I purchase a bottle to take back home with me.
St. Cousair winery, with a history of creating quality wines, also purchases grapes from surrounding farmers allowing them to produce approximately 200,000 bottles of wine a year, across a range of types including chardonnay, pinot noir, cabernet sauvignon and sparkling wine. Although harvesting season occurs in September and October, where not only the aroma of fermentation is powerful but it is also so fresh that the fermentation noises can be heard from inside the oak barrels, I truly believe that winter makes this winery truly magical. With a fine dining restaurant, chapel, delicatessen, gourmet gift shop and café on the premises, like myself, one can easily find themselves strolling around the property, enjoying the free winery tour and tasting (the best part of course) before relaxing and taking in the picturesque landscape.
After spending a few hours at the winery I headed off back to Nagano station where I would say farewell to my other tour-goers before spending one last afternoon enjoying some other aspects of Nagano – which will be in my next post of course (for it is late again, and this boy needs a good night sleep)!
Nagano, I will definitely be back!
For more information on St. Cousair winery please view the below link.
St. Cousair Winery – http://www.stcousair.co.jp/valley/welcome/
Want to visit Nagano and taste the most delicious wine in the region? Pin it and save it for later.