<Interim translation>

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

  • (a) Characteristics of liquor
    • (1) Sensory factor
       As for white wine, the color is in general nearly clear or slightly yellow. The flavor is rich and has a fruity aroma of a bright flower, green apple or orange fruit. White wine has a rich acidity. Dry wine makes drinkers clearly feel the acidity and sweet wine has a good balance of acidity and sweetness, both of which are fruity and light.
       As for red wine, the color is in general light cherry red or slightly dark red purple. Some red wines have a spicy or fruity aroma, while others have a light maturing flavor (bouquet). Red wine tastes moderate or light, and has clear acidity and mild astringency, and even after a long maturation, it has a fruity aroma.
       As for rose wine, the color is in general purple or orange. Rose wine has a rich fruity aroma. Sweet wine has a good balance of sweetness and acidity which makes drinkers imagine grapes used as ingredients, while dry wine makes drinkers clearly feel its acidity, both of which are fruity and crisp.
    • (2) Chemical factor
       Hokkaido wine is a wine which satisfies the following requirements in terms of the alcohol content, total sulfite level, volatile acid level and total acid level, and includes sparkling wines.
      • (ⅰ) Alcohol content is 14.5% or less.
      • (ⅱ) Total sulfite level is 350 mg/kg or less.
      • (ⅲ) Volatile acid level is 1.5 g/L or less.
      • (ⅳ) As a general rule, without adding acid, if grapes with fruit juice sugar content of less than 21% are used as ingredients, the total acid level shall be 5.8 g/L or more (tartaric acid conversion, and the same shall apply thereafter) for white wine and rose wine, and 5.2 g/L or more for red wine, while if grapes with fruit juice sugar content of 21% or more are used as ingredients, the total acid level shall be 5.4 g/L or more for white wine and rose wine and 4.8 g/L or more for red wine.
  • (b) Essential attribution of its geographical origin to characteristics of liquor
    • (1) Natural factor
       Compared to other grape cultivation areas in Japan, it is colder in Hokkaido and the accumulated temperature during the growing season is low. For this reason, according to the classification by Amerine & Winkler (University of California, Davis), the Hokkaido area is classified as "Region I" of the climatic division, which is rare among production areas in Japan. Therefore, it is said that the Hokkaido area is suitable for cultivation of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir of German varieties and French varieties, and in particular, the climate in Hokkaido is most suitable for European white varieties in Japan.
       In grape cultivation areas in Hokkaido (major areas include Yoichi-Town in Shiribeshi, Iwamizawa-City in Sorachi, Furano-City in Kamikawa and Ikeda-Town in Tokachi), the hours of sunshine from April to October are 1,100 hours or longer and the daily range of temperature is wide, and therefore, grapes with a high sugar content can be harvested. Moreover, since average monthly temperature from April to October is 15°C or lower, grapes with a high acid content can be cultivated. Furthermore, in other domestic areas, grapes are cultivated in place at high altitudes to harvest such grapes with a high acid content, but in Hokkaido, even if the altitude is 200 m or lower, such grapes can be cultivated.
       In addition, compared to other domestic grape cultivation areas, the humidity is low and the amount of precipitation from April to October is 700 mm or less, and therefore the occurrence of disease caused by mold etc. can be controlled and, in general, grapes can be harvested in a healthy condition.
       The characteristics of the Hokkaido wine are formed by grapes which are cultivated in such a natural environment. Moreover, the temperature is low throughout the year and the storage temperature for wine after vinification can be maintained low in a natural state, and therefore the fruity flavor can be maintained until production rollout.
    • (2) Human factor
       In Hokkaido, the American grapes were transplanted to Sapporo in 1875 and the " Budoshu Jozo-sho" was founded as a development encouragement business of the Kaitakushi (Development Commission) in 1876. The first wine was manufactured using local wild vines, but afterward the American grapes such as Concord were used. The winery was transferred to the private sector in 1887 and it continued production until the business was discontinued in 1913.
       Since then, production of wines as an industry has been discontinued, but since around 1965, research was started on a variety selection of grape variety which is adaptable to cold climates, or on breeding of grapes by cross-fertilization with wild vines and wine production methods. In 1984, with the establishment of the Dosan Wine Kondankai (Hokkaido Wine Council), the exchange of information among wine makers was activated, and therefore the method of cultivation of grapes and the method of wine production has made rapid progress.
       Wine production in Hokkaido has close relationship with the development of grape cultivation. In Hokkaido which has a vast area of land and where a large-scale production is possible, the hedge cultivation was mainly used for grapes for wine. However, the cold during the winter period is severe and there are areas having heavy snowfall and therefore, unique cultivation methods have been created.
       For example, in heavy snowfall areas (Shiribeshi, Sorachi, etc.), it is possible to prevent branches from being broken by snowfall and also prevent vines from freezing by the heat retention effect which blocks out external air because the vines are buried in snow, and therefore the Katagawa Suihei Cordon (one-sided horizontal cordon method) in which vines are mainly slanted is adopted. Moreover, in the areas having light snowfall but having intense cold (such as Tokachi), in order to prevent from freezing, vines may be buried in the soil during the winter period to pass the winter. Such grape cultivation method adaptable to the natural environment in Hokkaido has been established by the creative efforts of wine makers and activities of the Hokkaido Wine Council. In addition to the viticultural methods for Wild Vine variety and Hybrid variety which are adaptable to the natural environment in Hokkaido, the development of cold-hardy varieties has also been actively developed.
       Furthermore, because grapes with a high acid content are used as ingredients, the production method has been adopted in which, as a general rule, acid is not added, and the use of acid is limited to the case in which the pH adjustment is necessary for the purpose of stabilization of color tone, sulfite adjustment, etc., but not for the purpose of increasing the sensory acidity.

 Matters relating to ingredients and production method of liquor

 To use the geographical indication "Hokkaido," it is required to meet the following requirements:

  • (a) Ingredients
    • (1) Only grapes (limited to the varieties listed below) harvested in Hokkaido are used as fruit.
      •  Vitis vinifera varieties (Muller Thurgau, Kerner, Bacchus, Perle, Gewurztraminer, Riesling, Morio-Muscat, Siegerrebe, Irsai Olivér, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Blanc (Weißer Burgunder), Pinot Gris, Muscat (Muscat Ottonel), Auxerrois,Muskateller,Zweigelt, Lemberger, Trollinger, Dornfelder ,Pinot-Noir (Spätburgunder) , Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Harmo Noir, Cabernet Franc,Cabernet Cubin,Cabernet Mitos,Cabernet Dorsa,Acolon ,Palas)
      •  Labrusca varieties (Niagara, Portland, Delaware, Tabiji, Campbell Early, New York Muscat, Concord, Red Niagara)
      •  Wild Vine varieties (Himaraya, Amurensis,Coignetiae)
      •  Hybrid varieties (Seibel 9110, Seibel 5279, Seibel 10076, Seibel 13053, Kiyomi, Furano No.2, Kiyomai, Yamasachi, Hybrid of Kiyomi and Amurensis, Yama Sauvignon,Yama Fredonia, Zalagyongye, Rondo, Regent, Muscat Hamburg-Amurensis (Hokujun),Iwamatsu No.5)
    • (2) Ingredients for the "fruit wine" stipulated in Item 13 of Article 3 of the Liquor Tax Act shall be used. As for the flavoring stipulated in Item 13-d of Article 3 of the Act, only fruit juice or concentrated juice of grapes (both of which shall be manufactured using grapes harvested in Hokkaido as ingredients) may be used.
    • (3) Grapes with fruit juice sugar content of 16.0% or more for Vitis vinifera varieties, 13.0% or more for Labrusca varieties, and 15.0% or more for Wild Vine varieties and Hybrid varieties shall be used. If, however, the weather during the viticultural period is bad, as for grapes harvested in the calendar year which include the viticultural period, respective fruit juice sugar content required may be reduced by 1.0%.
    • (4) As a general rule, water, spirit and alcohol shall not be used. Brandy may be added to fermented wine in a container which is scheduled to be sent out, only if the wine will not be transferred to other container afterward.
  • (b) Production method
    • (1) Wine shall be a wine which is manufactured in Hokkaido in accordance with the production method of the "fruit wine" stipulated in Item 13 of Article 3 of the Liquor Tax Act and shall be the "Japanese wine" stipulated in Item 3 of Article 1 of the "Standards for Production Methods and Quality Indication for Fruit Wine etc. - Notification of the National Tax Agency No. 18 of October 2015."
    • (2) If sugars are added in accordance with the production methods stipulated in Item 13-b, 13-c or 13-d of Article 3 of the Liquor Tax Act, the total of the weight of sugars added shall be equal to or less than the weight of sugars included in fruit.
    • (3) If flavoring stipulated in accordance with Item 13-d of Article 3 of the Liquor Tax Act (hereinafter referred to as simply the "flavoring"), the weight of sugars contained in the flavoring added shall not exceed 10% of the weight of the fruit wine after the flavoring is added.
    • (4) Addition of acidity in the case of the total acid level of fruit juice with less than 7.5 g/L before adding acidity is regarded as for the purpose of increasing sensory acidity, and therefore is not permitted. Provided, however, that only if the fruit juice sugar content is 21% or more, and the total acid level of fruit juice before the addition of the acidity is 7.5 g/L or more, addition of acidity of as much as 1.0 g/L as minimally required for pH adjustment for the purpose of the quality maintenance such as the stabilization of color tone and the sulfite adjustment is permitted.
    • (5) Deacidification method may be used until the total acid level is reduced by as low as 2.0 g/L.
    • (6) If wine is stored during the production process, it shall be stored in Hokkaido.
    • (7) Wine shall be filled in the container in Hokkaido, which is scheduled to be delivered to consumers.

 Matters relating to management for maintaining the characteristics of liquor

  • (a) To use the geographical indication "Hokkaido," sake makers, before liquors with the geographical indication are transferred (except for transfers applicable to the provisions of Paragraph 1 of Article 28 of the Liquor Tax Act) from the production site of liquors (including a site regarded as the production site with a license of production liquors under the provisions of Paragraph 6 of Article 28 or Paragraph 4 of Article 28-3 of the Liquor Tax Act - Act No. 6 of 1953), need to get confirmation based on the business application guidelines prepared by the following control body whether the liquors with the geographical indication satisfy the "Matters relating to the characteristics of liquors mainly linked with the production area of the liquors" and the "Matters relating to ingredients and production methods of liquors."
    Name of Control Body: Geographical Indication "Hokkaido" Use Management Committee
    Address: NPO corporation Wine Cluster Hokkaido, Otaru Canal Terminal, 1-12 Ironai 1-chome, Otaru City, Hokkaido Japan
    * For the benefit of the Use Management Committee, knowledge accumulated by the Hokkaido Wine Council and ongoing support are provided.
  • (b) If the control body recognizes that the weather in the viticultural period is bad, it shall disclose the matter immediately in accordance with the business application guidelines.

 Matters relating liquor classes