Sommelier at & Wine Tasting Room - Yamanashi is the birthplace of Japanese wine. A young man raised in Katsunuma was dispatched to France in 1870 to learn techniques in winemaking and from these beginnings many wineries were established in Katsunuma. Since the 1870s, wineries in Koshu and Katsunuma have continued to refine their product to cultivate some fairly impressive wines. In just the Katsunuma area alone, one can find well over 200 winemakers. Katsunuma has a unique climate that is natural for viticulture because of the soil and climate. Most wineries have their own caves for aging the wines, and others use a disused railway tunnel with a perfect conditions for storing wine that is rented out. This gives the wines the needed time to age wines slowly. At first they are aged in French oak barrels, and at the opportune moment they are bottled. Many of the wineries, including Grace, Chateau Katsunuma and Kurambon among the finest in the region, have tasting rooms and tours of their vineyards.