Administrative unit (prefecture) in the Chūbu region on the main island of Honshū ( Japan ). There is also a city called Yamanashi around 100 kilometers west of Tokyo, the name literally means mountain pear. The seat of the prefecture administration is however the city of Kofu. According to legend, Saint Gyoki planted it in the city of Katsunuma in 718, given to him by Buddha Nyorai vines and built the Daizenji Temple. In honor of the Buddha, Gyoki created a statue called Budo Yakushi (Budo = wine, Yakushi = medical teacher; wine has long been considered a medicinal medicine in Japan).
In the Meiji era (1868-1912), Japan began to open up to western ideas and techniques. In 1877, the Dainihon Yamanashi Wine Company, the forerunner of today's Mercian Katsunuma Winery, founded. A year later Masanari Takano (1852-1923) and Ryuken Tsuchiya (1858-1940) followed France sent to get knowledge about there viniculture and winemaking to acquire. They took their job very seriously, were from throughout the process pruning about vintage to the basement work and made many sketches. They came back after two years and their knowledge was the basis for the start of production. This was not very successful due to poor quality and Dainihon Yamanashi was finally dissolved in 1886. Nevertheless, that was the beginning of Japanese viticulture.
Yamanashi is still Japan's winegrowing center with around 30 modern production plants. Around 40% of Japanese wine production comes from Yamanashi. Well-known wineries are Asahi (Ste Neige), Chateau Lumiere, Grace Wine (Chūō Budōshu), Manns Wines Katsunuma Winery, Marufuji-Rubaiyat, Mercian Katsunuma Winery (the largest Japanese producer) and Suntory Tomi-no-Oka Winery, The vineyards are located on the gentle eastern slopes of Mount Fuji (Fujiyama). The main types of white wine are Chardonnay. Sauvignon Blanc. Sémillon. Delaware and named after the former province, almost identical in area to Yamanashi Koshu, The main red wine varieties are Cabernet Sauvignon. Cabernet Franc. Merlot. Petit Verdot and the hybrids Muscat Bailey A. Mills and Black Queen,