Koshu (KO-shoo)

Widely planted Japanese variety grown in several areas of that country, including the Mt. Fuji area. Legend has it that the grape is a cross of a native wild Japanese grape with a vinifera variety that was brought from the Caucasus to China and then, by Buddhist monks, to Japan approximately a thousand years ago. But DNA typing has revealed no relationships with other known varieties, and thus koshu’s origins remain a mystery. The first mentions of the variety being made into wine in Japan go back to the 1870s. Historically produced in a sweet style; today made as a dry, delicate, low alcohol, crisp white not unlike Muscadet.

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