<Interim translation>


Matters relating the characteristics of liquor which is essentially attributable to its geographical origin

  • (a) Characteristics of liquor
    • (1) Sensory factor
       Yamanashi wines are well-balanced beverages that reflect the characteristics of grape varieties such as their original aroma and taste. This is achieved by selecting varieties and improving qualities, such as Koshu and Muscat Bailey A cultivated from long ago in Yamanashi, and the Vinifera species native to Europe, selecting those that will take root in Yamanashi’s natural environment and devising methods to improve cultivation methods, etc.

       Among those, wines made from Koshu variety have a rich aroma and spreads a gentle taste in one’s mouth. Dry wine on the other hand has a fruity citrus scent and a crisp acidity.
       Wines made from Muscat Bailey A have a rich red-purple tone of color, a splendid fragrance suggesting sweetness, and a mild astringency from tannin.

       Furthermore, white wines made from the Vinifera species have a mild sour taste, the characteristic fragrance of ripened Vinifera fruit, and a voluminous feel in the mouth. Red wines made from Vinifera have a sturdy tone of color, striking a good balance between its heavy body from tannin and well-roundedness.
    • (2) Chemical factor
       Yamanashi wines, including those with sparkling wines, are beverages that fulfill the following conditions regarding alcohol percentages, total sulfur dioxide concentrations, volatile acidity values and total acidity values:
      • (ⅰ) Alcohol content is 8.5% or above and below 20%. However, the upper limit for beverages with supplementary saccharides is below 15%, and the lower limit for sweet wines (this indicates products with a residual sugar level of 45 g/L or more. Same for all cases below) is 4.5% or above.
      • (ⅱ) Total sulfur dioxide content are 250 mg/L or below (excluding sweet wines).
      • (ⅲ) Volatile acid content for red wines are 1.2 g/L or below. For white and rosé wines, it is 1.08 g/L or below.
      • (ⅳ) Total acidity are 3.5 g/L or above.
  • (b) Essential attribution of its geographical origin to characteristics of liquor
    • (1) Natural factors
       Yamanashi prefecture is a mountainous region surrounded by the Akaishi Mountain ranges running along the prefecture’s western border and Mount Fuji range spreading from the prefecture’s southern border to the northeast.
       The area is scarcely influenced by the sea or ocean and is therefore not much affected by the rainy season or typhoons. The climate is characteristic of a basin, where temperatures rise during the day but fall drastically in the mornings and evenings, creating large temperature differences.
       These natural factors provide an ideal environment for the cultivation of grapes, where the influence of extreme humidity caused by the rainy season is limited during the grapes’ growing season, and wind damages by typhoons and illnesses caused by lack of sunlight are less likely to occur during the grapes’ ripening period. These provide positive influences on the grapes’ overall quality such as coloration and sugar concentration.
       The grapes’ cultivation land is spread mainly along the Fuji River’s tributary river basin.
       Many of the grape cultivation lands lie on gentle slopes made from granite and andesite colluvial land with deep soil layers that are fertile and have good drainage.
       These good conditions allow grapes to grow and ripen healthily, creating well-balanced wines that nicely maintain the characteristics of the species.
    • (2) Human factors
       The production of Yamanashi wine is said to have started around 1870. At the time, most of the cultivated grapes were consumed as table grapes and the surplus were used to produce wine.
       Even if the cultivation volume of grapes increased, they could be processed into wines and sold, which allowed farmers to engage in grape cultivation without the fear of excess production. In this way, their grape cultivation techniques as well as creativity were repeatedly improved.
       In addition to this, the production volume of wines also increased, as did the advancement of fermentation techniques, creating a virtuous cycle to contribute to the economic developments in the region.
       Since the Meiji period, the government, the Yamanashi prefectural office and municipalities have provided various aids to such wine industries, including lawful services, financial support and research development to improve grape varieties.
       Today, a wine center exists in the Yamanashi Industrial Technology Center and a grape cultivation department for the purpose of fermentation is established in the Yamanashi Fruit Tree Experiment Station, both as prefectural institutions. Not only do these institutes develop research on grape cultivation and wine fermentation, but they also provide technological guidance and support for Yamanashi wine makers, becoming a technological foundation to produce high quality Yamanashi wine.
       Additionally, a fermentation research institute (today the Institute of Enology and Viticulture) was established at the University of Yamanashi in 1947, an example of further commitments to ongoing research and human resources development efforts.
       Grape production regions in Japan receive greater rainfall compared to production regions in Europe and the influences of rain can be seen during the grape cultivation season in Yamanashi prefecture as well.
       However, a variety of contrivances are used by Yamanashi wine makers, such as placing umbrellas over hedge grown grapes and nurturing grapes high up in a hedge to avoid rain splatters. In this way, the cultivation of high quality grapes has taken root in the region.
       Iron in wines produce a fishy smell when wine is combined with seafood dishes, but Yamanashi wines contain less total iron content compared to those produced abroad.
       This is because, even though Yamanashi is not located along the sea, there are many sushi restaurants in the region and the people have a tendency to favor seafood. Therefore, Yamanashi wines have undergone numerous production contrivances in order to adapt to the peoples’ tastes.
       Yamanashi wines go well with dishes such as Japanese cuisines that use seafood ingredients, which is one of the reasons wine has become such a familiar beverage to the people of Yamanashi.

 Matters relating to ingredients and production method of liquor

 To use the geographical indication “Yamanashi”, it shall satisfy the following conditions:

  • (a) Ingredients
    • (1) The wine must be made solely from grapes harvested in Yamanashi prefecture (limited to the species listed below).
       Koshu, Muscat Bailey A, Black Queen, Bailey Alicante A, Delaware, Hybrid Species (Kai Noir, Kai Blanc, Sun-Semillon, Harmo Noir, Bijou Noir, Monde Briller), Vitis vinifera Species (Chardonnay, Semillon, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Blanc, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Cabernet Franc, Pinot Noir, Petit Verdot, Chenin Blanc, Pinot Gris, Viognier, Schönberger, Riesling, Gewürztraminer, Muscadet, Cinsaut, Tempranillo, Malbec, Tannat, Albariño, Sangiovese, Nebbiolo, Barbera, Pinot Meunier, Zinfandel, Zweigeltrebe, Grenache, Carménère, Petit Manseng)
    • (2) The wine must be made using ingredients for “fruit liquor” designated in Article 3-13 of the Liquor Tax Act.
       However, in regard to flavoring additives used in the fruit liquor as outlined in Article 3-13 D of the same law, it is limited to grape juice or concentrated grape juice (both limited to using grapes harvested in Yamanashi prefecture), and the sugars weight contained in the flavoring must not exceed a tenth of the liquor’s weight after the flavoring has been added.
    • (3) The wine must be made from grapes with juice sugar concentrations of 14% or above for Koshu species, 18% or above for Vitis vinifera species, and 16% or above for other species.
       However, if the weather was bad during the grape cultivation season, the required sugar concentrations for grapes harvested in that calendar year, including their cultivation season may be lowered by 1%.
      Additionally, among the wines produced according to the production methods regulated in Article 3-13 C of the Liquor Tax Act, grapes used for products that acquire sparkling qualities through fermentation in containers that are planned to be shipped without changing containers or containers that can be sealed close must contain sugar concentrations of 11% or above for Koshu species, 15% or above for Vitis vinifera species and 13% or above for other species.
    • (4) The wine must be made without the use of water, alcohol or spirits as part of its ingredients.
       In regard to brandy, such ingredients can be used only as an addition to beverages that were fermented in the very containers that they are scheduled to be shipped in. They may only be added in said container after the fermentation process.
  • (b) Production Method
    • (1) The wine must be produced in Yamanashi prefecture according to the production methods designated in Article 3-13 of the Liquor Tax Act and must be a “Japan wine” as designated in Paragraph (1),-3 of the “Standards for Production Methods and Quality Indication for Fruit Liquor, etc. (National Tax Agency Notice No. 18, October 2015).”
    • (2) When adding sugars (of the sugars used in fruit liquors according to Article 3-13 C of the Liquor Tax Act, this excludes saccharides used in products that acquire sparkling qualities through fermentation in containers that are planned to be shipped without changing containers or containers that can be sealed close) according to production methods designated in Article 3-13 B or C of the Liquor Tax Act, the weight of the added saccharides must be within the following ranges depending on the grape species used.
      • - 10 g per 100 ml for products using 100% of Koshu species
      • - 6 g per 100 ml for products using over 85% of Vinifera species
      • - 8 g per 100 ml for products using other species
      • (ⅰ) The total weight of acid for acidification added between the harvesting of grapes and bottling must be 9 g/L or below
      • (ⅱ) De-acidifiers may be added until the total acidity is reduced to 5 g/L.
      • (ⅲ) As part of the production process, if the wine is to be stored, it must be stored in Yamanashi prefecture.
      • (ⅳ) The wine must be bottled in Yamanashi prefecture in the very containers that are scheduled to be delivered to the consumers.

 Matters relating management to maintain the characteristic of liquor

  • (a) In order to use the geographical indication “Yamanashi,” it is necessary to obtain confirmation from the following organization (hereinafter “Control Body”) that the liquor concerned fulfils the factors under “matters related to the characteristics of liquor which are essentially attributable to its geographical origin” and “matters related to the ingredients and production method of liquor” from the time it is produced in the winery (includes wineries that received a liquor production license according to regulations in Article 28, paragraph (6) or Article 28 3, paragraph (4) of the Liquor Tax Act (Act No. 6 of 1953)) to when it leaves (excludes those that fit regulations in Article 28, paragraph (1) of the Liquor Tax Act), based on the business implementation guidelines created by the control body.
    Name of control body: Management Commission for the Geographical Indication “Yamanashi”
    Address: Yamanashi Prefecture Wine Manufacturers' Association
    Local Industry Center Floor 2
    3-13-25 Tokoji, Kofu City, Yamanashi Prefecture
    Phone number: 055-233-7306
    Website address://www.wine.or.jp
  • (b) If the management organization acknowledges that the weather was bad during the grape cultivation period, it must immediately make the decision public in accordance to the business implementation guidelines.

 Matters relating to liquor classes


Seishu / Sake

Ⅰ Matters relating the characteristics of liquor which is essentially attributable to its geographical origin

  • (a) Characteristics of liquor
     Seishu (refined sake) of Yamanashi generally has a gentle, clear and pure taste.
     When sake comes close to your mouth, its smells gently reminding you of fruits, and when it comes into your mouth, the aroma spreads in your mouth. At the same time, the umami and body reminding you of grains gradually spread over your tongue, bringing a gentle, clear and pure taste.
     Such sake having a gentle and pure taste goes well with salty dishes, and the beautiful combination of sake and dishes will make them more tasteful.
  • (b) Essential attribution of its geographical origin to characteristics of liquor
    • (1) Natural factors
       Yamanashi Prefecture is surrounded by mountains of at least 2,000 m and 3,000 m such as Mt. Fuji and the mountains of the Southern Alps, Yatsugatake and Okuchichibu, and about 78% of the prefectural land is forested. The Kofu Basin surrounded by those mountains has an average altitude of about 300 m, which is relatively high, and the difference of altitude is large between its areas including surrounding mountains.
       High mountains block moist wind from the sea, resulting in little rain and snow and long hours of sunlight throughout a year. Summer days are sometimes very hot with the maximum temperature exceeding 30°C, and on the other hand, winter days are sometimes “chilling to the bone” with the minimum temperature below zero.
       Rains and snowfall in Mt. Fuji and other high mountains provide water to forest areas and are naturally filtered over the years through granite, basalt, andesite, and other strata underlying the foot of mountains, and then become infiltrated water that adequately contains minerals, formulating multiple water systems. Each water system generates abundant and good-quality water, which has slightly different ingredients depending on each water system, but is generally light soft water.
       The use of this soft water for preparation and mild fermentation under the low temperature chilling to the bone during the brewing season in winter enabled people to create gentle, clear and pure sake that has a moderate aroma and umami but little miscellaneous tastes.
    • (2) Human factors
       Yamanashi Prefecture does not face the sea, and therefore it relied on neighboring prefectures such as Shizuoka and Kanagawa to obtain salt and seafood and often transported them to Yamanashi in a form of salted fish or dried fish for preservation. They say that Shingen Takeda who ruled this region in the Sengoku Period (Warring States Period) promoted the production of miso (soybean paste). Koshu miso, which is characterized by combination of barley yeast and rice yeast, is used in a major local dish “Hoto” and many other dishes. Based on the above matters, it is considered that residents of Yamanashi have developed their sense of taste and preference for salty dishes.
       In addition, Yamanashi was developed as a region directly controlled by the Edo Shogunate, and the “Koshu Kaido,” which was one of the five major roads (Gokaido) of military and logistics importance, passed in Yamanashi. In addition, it was popular for people in the Edo Period to climb Mt. Fuji as an object of worship or visit Kuonji, which was the head temple of the Nichiren sect of Buddhism and was located in Mt. Minobu. Summer was hot and winter was cold in the region, and people had to climb about 800 m across the Sasago-toge Pass in the Koshu Kaido. It is considered that people travelling in this road going up and down under such a severe climate felt salty dishes really delicious.
       When eating those dishes, people have been drinking sake produced in Yamanashi. In 1796, there were at least three types of sake breweries, namely village breweries, town breweries and post-town breweries, in the prefecture. This historical background is considered to have developed sake brewing that produces gentle and pure sake that goes well and are beautifully combined with salty dishes.

Ⅱ Matters relating to ingredients and production method of liquor

  • (a) Ingredients
    • (1) Rice and rice yeast for use must be chosen from rice harvested in Japan (Grade 3 or higher certified by Agricultural Products Inspection Act [Act No. 144 of 1951] or those equivalent thereto).
    • (2) Water for use must be collected only from any of the water systems at the foot of the Southern Alps, Yatsugatake mountains, Chichibu mountains, north of Mt. Fuji, Fuji and Misaka, or north of Misaka mountains in Yamanashi Prefecture.
    • (3) Ingredients for use must be ones specified as raw materials for “seishu” by Article 3, paragraph 7 of the Liquor Tax Act (Act No. 6 of 1953). However, of raw materials for seishu specified by Article 2 of the Order for Enforcement of the Liquor Tax Act (Cabinet Order No. 97 of 1962), no ingredients other than alcohol must be used (limited to the cases of using alcohol when the weight of alcohol out of the ingredients does not exceed 10-100ths of the weight of rice (including yeast rice)).
  • (b) Production method
    • (1) Sake must be one that was produced in Yamanashi Prefecture by the production method of seishu stipulated by Article 3, item 7 of the Liquor Tax Act.
    • (2) In the process of sake brewing, sake must be stored within Yamanashi Prefecture.
    • (3) Bottling must be completed within Yamanashi Prefecture with containers planned to be delivered to consumers.

Ⅲ Matters relating to management for maintaining the characteristics of liquor

  • (a) In order to use geographical indication (GI) “Yamanashi (山梨),” the liquor that uses the GI is required to be confirmed by the following body (hereinafter referred to as the “Control Body”) pursuant to the guidelines for work implementation prepared by the Control Body as to whether the relevant liquor satisfies “Matters relating to the characteristics of liquor which is essentially attributable to its geographical origin” and “Matters relating to the ingredients and production method of liquor” by the time the relevant liquor is shipped to places (excluding places subject to the provision of Article 28, paragraph 1 of the Liquor Tax Act) from its brewing place (including places deemed as brewing places with the permit to produce liquor by the provision of Article 28, paragraph 6 or Article 28-3, paragraph 4 of the Liquor Tax Act).
    Name of the Control Body: Yamanashi Sake and Shochu Makers Association
    Address: 4-15-5 Kokubo, Kofu-shi, Yamanashi Prefecture
    Telephone: 055-224-4368
    Website address: www.yamanashi-sake.jp
  • (b) With respect to water specified in (a)(2) of “Matters relating to ingredients and production method of liquor,” the conditions of collection, etc. must be clearly defined by the Control Body in the guidelines for work implementation and be confirmed by (a).
  • (c) With respect to liquor confirmed by (a), when attaching, in addition to a geographical indication, a separate indication as shown in the Appendix to the containers or packages of liquor in order to indicate that the liquor is produced by using only rice and rice yeast chosen from rice harvested in Yamanashi Prefecture and only water collected from a specific water system in Yamanashi Prefecture and by using no alcohol, such indication shall be attached in accordance with the guidelines for work implementation.



Ⅳ Matters relating liquor classes

Seishu / sake (Article 3, Item 7 of the Liquor Tax Act)