Try the local wines of Hokkaido, a region with many wineries
Hokkaido, with its extreme temperature differences and low humidity, is one of Japan’s leading wine grape producing regions.
Hokkaido, with its extreme temperature differences and low humidity, is one of Japan’s leading wine grape producing regions. There has been an increase in the number of wineries producing wine with grapes produced in Hokkaido, and “Hokkaido-produced wine” is starting to draw attention. The number of wineries has been on the rise, and there are now over twenty located mainly in the grape-growing Shiribeshi and Sorachi areas. Come and find the Hokkaido wine that suits your taste in autumn, when the vines are heavily laden with ripening grapes.
|I want to connect Hokkaido’s food and tourism by establishing wine tourism with Otaru as its port. Hokkaido Wine Center’s senior sommelier, Masahisa Abe Interview|
Taste recommended wines at wineries in Sapporo and its surrounding areas
“I want to enjoy the wine together with delicious cuisine at the winery!” To such persons, we recommend wineries with adjoining restaurants. If you visit Yoichi Winery or OcciGabi, both located in the wine-grape producing area of Yoichi, you can enjoy their wines, together with a meal, at the restaurants on the property. Sapporo Fujino Winery, located about 30 minutes by car from the center of Sapporo, is a winery where you can enjoy pizza or pasta together with your wine at the adjoining café restaurant “Vigne”. For drivers who would like a drink, we suggest making use of public transportation when you venture out.
A winery with its own restaurant…
Pick out a souvenir while tasting the wines
If you are going to buy some Hokkaido wine as a souvenir, you will want to taste it first. A “Wine Tasting Adventure”, where you can learn as you sample Hokkaido wines (English available), is held at the Hokkaido Wine Center, opened on the first floor of the Otaru Canal Terminal. If you are searching for wine at New Chitose Airport at the end of your trip, go to the Hokkaido Konosha Wine & Cheese, a matchmaker for Hokkaido wine and Hokkaido cheese that only stocks processed products made from Hokkaido-produced ingredients. You can pick out a souvenir while sampling the wines of the day for free. For those driving through the grape-producing Sorachi area, midway between Sapporo and Asahikawa, why not drop by the Sorachi Wine Station? The restaurant and wine shop on the first floor of the hotel has a range of Hokkaido wines and Japanese wines, and you can also order a “drinking set” at the restaurant. If drivers also want to enjoy themselves, we recommend taking the train. You can walk there from JR Iwamizawa Station in about 15 minutes.
Places where you can taste wine for a fee or for free…
Taste the wine of Hokkaido at outdoor events
Our recommended events, where you can sample wines from wineries all over Hokkaido all in one place without leaving Sapporo, are the “Lilac Festival” in May, and the “Autumn Fest” which runs from September to October, both of which are held in Sapporo’s Odori Park. There is a Hokkaido wine corner at the event venue, and you can enjoy a glass of wine in a picnic atmosphere. The taste of cuisine made with Hokkaido ingredients, with wine enjoyed outdoors in the fresh air, is exceptional!