Welcome to HOKKAIDO Wine!

About our winery

Our winery began planting wine grapes in 1972 and established in 1974. The first vintage wine was made in 1979. We have three own vineyards and about 200 contract grape growers in Hokkaido.

As of January 2023, there are 55 wineries in Hokkaido. We are not the oldest winery, but we are the biggest. Our winery is situated on a mountainside in Otaru, Hokkaido. The altitude here is about 225 metres. We have a view over the forest and the sea.


Having a winery on a hillside has three additional special and important advantages. The first advantage is the ability to vinify wine in a cool environment due to the high altitude. In addition, the fermentation tanks can be cooled using cold natural water pumped up from underground, which ensures that a stable fermentation temperature is maintained at all times.

The second factor is the slope of the mountain. The grapes arrive at the highest altitude of our winery, which is where the winemaking process starts. Gravity moves the grapes to the next processing stage. The winery is designed to use as little pump power as possible. This is the 'gravity system', which takes advantage of the natural mountain shape. This way, the grapes, juice and wine are not overloaded and a better, more careful wine is produced.

The third and final point is that in winter, snow falls very heavily. The snow covers the outdoor tanks. The natural open air causes 'wine stones' to precipitate in the tanks and slow ageing is encouraged.

We produce wine from 100% Japanese grapes, mainly from Hokkaido. Every year, we use between 2,000 and 2,500 tonnes of grapes. We use grapes from our own vineyards as well as from grape growers.

Tsurunuma Winery (447 ha) in Urausu-cho, Hokkaido, is the first vineyard of its own. It is the largest vineyard in Japan. Around 40 grape varieties are grown, the first vintage being the German variety Müller-Thurgau, harvested in 1979.

In recent years, the vineyard has had success with French varieties such as 'Pinot Blnc', 'Pinot Noir' and 'Gewürztraminer', which have won awards at renowned national and international wine competitions, and has also tried its hand at PIWI varieties such as 'Rondo' and 'Solaris', which are mould-resistant and can be grown with low pesticide use.

Furthermore, Tsurunuma is playing a pioneering role in viticulture, having started a smart farming demonstration with Hokkaido University to solve the labour shortage and improve grape quality. We also want to help improve the quality of Hokkaido wine as a whole.

Our Wines

We have several series of wine. They differ in grape roots or the grape growing area.
Grapes have two roots. One comes from Europe and is called “Vitis Vinifera” and the other comes from America and is called “Vitis Labrusca.”

Our most famous brand is the “Otaru-series.” These wines are made from “Vitis Labrusca.” They have a lovely natural flavor and taste just like fresh, juicy grapes. These wines are very popular, and in fact “Otaru Niagara” is our most popular wine.

The “Hokkaido-series” is not so expensive but is always of high quality. This series is made from a single grape type grown by different growers.
The Kerner is especially good with seafood such as Sushi or Sashimi.

Our flagship wine is the “Tsurunuma-series.” This series is made from our own vineyard's late harvest grapes. The grapes are checked each time for quality and are harvested by hand. If the grapes and the wine do not reach the exacting quality that we require, we don’t produce this series.

Some wines are not produced every year. These are what we call “Limited produce wine.”
If the autumn has been dry and very sunny, the grapes have a good ripening period. Furthermore, some of the grapes are affected by Botrytis-Cinerea, or what we call the “noble-rot.” Botrytis-Cinerea is a kind of fungus which makes the fruit shrivel and concentrates the sugars that are required to produce quality sweet wines. The wine will become sweet and luscious, and you can store it much longer.

hokkaido series

1-130 Asarigawa Onsen.Otaru.Hokkaido 047-8677 Japan

Geographical Indication of wine HOKKAIDO(GI HOKKAIDO)

Then, in June 2018, National Tax Agency of JAPAN designated the Geographical Indication of wine "HOKKAIDO".

JAPAN GI Designated Geographical Indications for Liquor Products in JAPAN Geogrphical Indication HOKKAIDO National Tax Agency JAPAN, " What is the Geographical Indications for Liquor Products in Japan? (Published in March 2021(PDF/47.3MB)"

Detailed information on the GIs and lists of the GIs designated by the Commissioner of the National Tax Agency of JAPAN is available from the National Tax Agency of JAPAN website.




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