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Thursday, Feb. 23, 2012

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Dare to be grape: Sommeliers and experts attend the first tasting event of Koshu wines sponsored by Koshu of Japan in Paris on Monday. KYODO

Koshu wine wins high praise from Paris sommeliers


PARIS — Winemakers from Yamanashi Prefecture held their first tasting event of the Koshu variety Monday in Paris, winning high acclaim from local sommeliers for their extremely delicate taste.

About 100 sommeliers and wine experts took part in the event sponsored by Koshu of Japan, or KOJ, which is comprised of 13 wine producers in Yamanashi and other local business groups, with the aim of promoting in Europe their white wines made from Koshu grapes endemic to Japan.

At the event held at the Paris-based International Organization of Vine and Wine, a 43-year-old sommelier praised Koshu wines for their balanced taste and unvarying quality among producers, while a 65-year-old wine journalist said their taste resembles those made from riesling grapes grown in Alsace in eastern France.

In April 2010, the Koshu grape, which is a white varietal native to Japan, was registered by the Paris-based association.

The registration entitles KOJ producers to print the varietal name Koshu on the labels of their wine bottles when they are exported to the European Union, opening the path for their first shipment to London in July 2010.

KOJ Chairman Shigekazu Misawa expressed his willingness for further expansion of the Japan-made wine, saying, "We want people to recognize the quality of Koshu wines at tasting events, to lead to business opportunities."

KOJ will hold another tasting event from Tuesday in London.

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