The world’s only train station vineyard is located in:
A. Zurich, Switzerland
B. Shiojiri, Japan
C. Mendoza, Argentina
D. Principality of Monaco
Shiojiri, a modest city in central Japan, is famous as the hub of the Kikyogahara Wine Valley in Nagano Prefecture, one of the country’s oldest wine regions. Domestic wine production in Japan, using locally produced grapes, only really began with the adoption of Western culture during the Meiji restoration in the second half of the 19th century. The Shiojiri Station Platform Vineyard was originally planted in 1988 as a way to promote the area’s wine culture and specialty grapes. “Trained” into high trellises overhead the third and fourth platforms of the station, the vineyard benefits from reflective floor tiles and exposure to the sky that provide the grapes plenty of sunlight. The merlot and niagara grapevines are tended by local winegrowers, and community members volunteer to help cultivate and prune the vines. The Kikyogahara Wine Valley is home to 10 wineries, with a reputation made on merlot and chardonnay.