A versatile investment portfolio is the key to managing risk and balancing the fluctuations of the market. Yet, when you think of investments, a mix of real estate, stocks and bonds might come to your mind at first. However, if you are looking for alternative ways of investments, then there is more than just the stock market to consider. For example, have you ever thought to invest in Japanese wine?
Let us paint a picture for you:
Slopes filled with luscious vines, the sweet sense of ripe grapes in the air and the sun setting in the distance bathing the landscape in warm orange light.
Yes – This is what investment can look like too.
Investing in wine can be a lucrative business but just like investing in a startup knowing your environment is a key factor. Wine is heavily influenced by many factors and knowing the right producers and regions is everything in this scene.
Mostly located in mountainous sites or near riverbeds, vineyards in Japan follow the flow of nature whose rich taste is being preserved by talented artisans creating the finest wines from Japanese premium grapes. Not only young entrepreneurs are starting out in wine-making but already established distilleries like Suntory or the Kirin franchise Mercian also show great faith in the industry and are building state of the art wineries. This infrastructure and rising interest in the cultivation of wine also benefit newcomers who together with corporations build a close-knit network of a thriving wine culture in Japan.
Wineries can be found all around Japan from Hokkaido in the North to Miyazaki in the South. Let us introduce two of Japan’s thriving wine areas and start investing in wine!
Yamanashi Prefecture: Japan's Kingdom of Fruit
Yamanashi Prefecture is home to a variety of grapes, each coming with its own distinguished character traits such as color, size, and flavor. The prefecture is commonly known as “The Kingdom of Fruits” (no surprise, since already its name includes one of its most famous produces – the pear). It provides a splendid environment for the cultivation of fruit as it is Japan’s area with the longest hours of sunshine.
Further, Yamanashi’s capital Kofu calls itself the “Birthplace of Japanese Wine” for a good reason. Records date back to the 19th century when Hironori Yamada and Norihisa Takuma were the first to produce the “Drink of the Gods” in Japan. Nowadays more than 80 wineries are established all around the prefecture making it a hub for high-grade gourmet wine delivering 1/4 of the national wine production.
To Invest in Japanese Wine from Japan's North: Hokkaido
Japan’s North is a hidden gem in winemaking but nevertheless ranking third in annual production of grapes. Centered around the cities of Tokachi, Yo’ichi, Furano and the Southern tip of the island more than 30 wineries are producing wine around the island.
Since the winters are harsh in Hokkaido many German grape varieties are grown that come from a similar climate as in Northern Japan. White wine varieties have proven most suitable in these circumstances but in recent years, red wine varieties such as Pinot Noir have also been successfully cultivated.
Investing in a winery and wine in Japan is a unique opportunity to diversify your investment portfolio. Passionate vintners are producing this glorious drink all around Japan and there is still much room for newcomers or opportunities to boost existing wineries.