Product Specification of Geographical Indication “大阪 (Osaka)”
Product Specification of Geographical Indication “大阪 (Osaka)”
Ⅰ Matters relating the characteristics of liquor which is essentially attributable to its geographical origin
(1) Characteristics of liquor
a. Sensory factors
Osaka wines are made mainly from Delaware and other table grape varieties, and their characteristics are to utilize the table grape growing techniques that have been developed for a long period of time also for the production of wine grapes and thereby use fresh and beautiful grapes as raw materials of wine. Those wines generally have a concentrated fruity flavor, mild acidity, and moderate umami, offering a pleasant aftertaste, and go well with dishes.
Particularly, wines made from Delaware grapes are characterized by a refreshing, fresh aroma and rich sweetness. We can enjoy changes in these wines depending on the time of harvesting grapes; a refreshing flavor like a citrus is emphasized when grapes are harvested early, and a concentrated rich sweet aroma is emphasized when matured grapes are used.
White wines made from varieties other than table grape varieties have a rich fruity aroma and a mild but thick taste; red wines have a mellow aroma and a mild fruity flavor, enhanced by tannin, and offer a full-bodied taste.
b. Chemical factors
Osaka wines meet the following requirements in terms of alcoholic content, total sulfurous acid level, volatile acid level, and total acid level, and include effervescent wines.
(a) Alcoholic content of 9% or more.
However, an alcoholic content must be 4.5% or more for sweet wines (which mean wines with 45 g/L or more of remaining sugar).
(b) Total sulfurous acid level of 190 mg/kg or less
(c) Volatile acid level of 0.98 g/L or less
(d) Total acid level of 3.5 g/L or more
(2) Essential attribution of its geographical origin to characteristics of liquor
a. Natural factors
Osaka Prefecture is located around the center of the Japanese Islands, and its central area is the Osaka Plain where population and city functions are concentrated, facing the Osaka Bay on the west. It is the economic center of the Kinki region and is an important traffic point for roads and sea lanes.
It is surrounded by mountains on the north, east and south, namely the Hokusetsu Mountains with an altitude of about 800 m on the north, the Ikoma Mountains and the Kongo Mountains with an altitude of about 400 m to 1,000 m on the east, and the Izumi Mountain with an altitude of about 400 m to 900 m on the south.
The Kawachi region (Habikino-shi, Kashiwara-shi, Taishi-cho, etc.) at the foot of the Kongo Mountains is the main region of grape growing, and a gentle slope from the mountains to the Osaka Plain through foothills does not block sunlight, ensuring sufficient hours of daylight. With respect to the nature of the soil, the base layer comprises granite unique to the Median Tectonic Line, and this base layer and sandy loam on the surface of the slope offer good drainage and ventilation.
In addition, the Osaka Bay is a part of the Seto Inland Sea and does not face the ocean, which means that the monsoon is blocked by the Chugoku Mountains and the Shikoku Mountains, resulting in stable weather conditions throughout a year and a warm climate with low rainfall. Particularly rainfall is very low in summer and therefore the climate is suitable for growing healthy grapes during the veraison period and enables the stable harvest of well-colored beautiful grapes having a thick taste with little fruit cracking. Wines made from those grapes have a concentrated fruity flavor derived from raw materials, mild acidity, and moderate umami.
b. Human factors
The grape growing industry was disseminated in Japan from around 1870 in the course of encouragement of new industries by the Meiji government, and nursery plants of the Koshu grape were planted in Katashimo-mura (Katashimo, Kashiwara-shi, Osaka) around 1880; as a result, the growing of table grapes became popular as an industry replacing the cotton production, which was declining at that time, and the number of grape growers increased.
The region was adjacent to major consuming areas and the opening of a railway in 1889 expanded the market in terms of distribution, making grape growing more popular.
After the Taisho era (after 1912), grape growing was established in the region with the expansion of the grape growing area to the entire Kawachi region and the introduction of the Delaware grape in 1914, and around 1930, the region became one of the largest grape growing areas in Japan.
As shown above, Osaka has been developed as a major area of producing table grapes, but in the process of development, orchards established a real winery for the first time in 1914 to utilize non-standard table grapes and winemaking has been conducted by using table grapes such as Koshu and Delaware.
After the start of the Showa era (after 1926), there began a movement to make wines from European grape varieties and winemakers made a steady effort to consider grape varieties and growing methods by utilizing their techniques developed through table grape growing; as a result, they found European grape varieties suitable for the climate and natural features of Osaka and succeeded in harvesting well-colored beautiful grapes with little fruit cracking like table grapes.
They also worked hard to improve the quality of “grapes for wine” by devising harvesting methods, etc., although the same table grape varieties were used for winemaking.
In recent years, the Research Institute of Environment, Agriculture and Fisheries, Osaka Prefecture established “Grape and Wine Laboratory” in 2018 and is developing wine grape varieties by utilizing the tradition, history, climate, soil, and other characteristics of Osaka, considering measures to improve winemaking techniques, and taking other measures to improve the quality in cooperation with winemakers in the geographical origin.
Ⅱ Matters relating to ingredients and production method of liquor
a.Fruit for use must be only grapes (limited to the varieties specified below) harvested within the scope of the geographical origin.
(a) Table grape varieties
Delaware, Koshu, Muscat Bailey A, Kyoho, Pione
(b) Varieties other than table grape varieties
Chardonnay, Riesling, Sauvignon blanc, Syrah, Chenin blanc, Pinot Noir, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Harmo Noir, Petit Verdot, Tannat, Albariño, Sangiovese, Barbera, Grenache, Petit Manseng, Osaka R N-1, Campbell Early, Niagara, Neo Muscat, Bailey Alicante B, Black Queen, Yama Sauvignon, Bijou Noir, Fuji No Yume, Cabernet Franc, Regent, Bacchus, Kerner, Mondo Briller, Tempranillo
b. Ingredients for use must be ones specified as raw materials for fruit liquor by Article 3, item 13 of the Liquor Tax Act.
For a flavoring agent specified in Article 3, item 13 (d) of the same Act, only grape juice or concentrated grape juice (limited to those produced only from grapes harvested within the scope of the geographical origin) may be used.
c.Grapes for use must be grapes whose juice sugar content is 16.0% or more, excluding the following cases.
If the weather is bad during the grape growing season, the required juice sugar content for each variety may be decreased by 1.0% only with regard to grapes harvested within the calendar year containing the grape growing season.
① Delaware: Juice sugar content of 18.0% or more
② Koshu: Juice sugar content of 14.0% or more
③ Delaware grapes harvested early (Note): Juice sugar content of 12.0% or more
④ Wine grapes that are fermented in a container where the relevant product produced by the production method specified in Article 3, item 13 (c) of the Liquor Tax Act is planned to be shipped without being transferred to another container: Juice sugar content of 12.0% or more
(Note) “Delaware grapes harvested early” mean grapes harvested at the beginning of coloring when their skin is colored mainly green or yellow-green to partially reddish purple (a large part may be reddish purple depending on the harvesting type).
d.In principle, no water, alcohol, or spirits must be used.
Brandy may be used only when it is added into a container after fermentation, where the wine has been fermented in the container and is planned to be shipped without being transferred to another container.
(2) Production method
a.Wines must be produced within the scope of the geographical origin by the method of producing “fruit liquor” specified in Article 3, item 13 of the Liquor Tax Act and be “Japanese wine” specified in paragraph 1, item 3 of the Standard for Indication of Production Method and Quality of Fruit Liquor, etc. (National Tax Agency’s Public Notice No. 18 of October 2015).
b.When saccharides are added in accordance with the production method specified in Article 3, item 13 (b), (c) and (d) of the Liquor Tax Act, the total weight of the added saccharides must not exceed the weight of saccharides contained in the fruit.
c.When a flavoring agent specified in Article 3, item 13 (d) of the Liquor Tax Act (hereinafter simply referred to as “Flavoring Agent”) is added, the weight of saccharides contained in the added Flavoring Agent must not exceed 10-100ths of the weight of the fruit liquor after the addition of the Flavoring Agent.
d.Acid not exceeding 1.0 g/L may be added as the minimum necessary addition of acid to adjust pH for the purpose of stabilizing colors, adjusting sulfurous acid, or otherwise preserving the quality.
e.An acid-removing agent may be added until the total acid level is reduced by 1.0 g/L.
f.In the process of production, wines must be stored within Osaka Prefecture.
g.Bottling must be completed within Osaka Prefecture with containers planned to be delivered to customers.
Ⅲ Matters relating to management for maintaining the characteristics of liquor
(1) In order to use geographical indication (GI) “大阪 (Osaka),” the liquor that uses the GI is required to be confirmed by the following control 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 with 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 [Act No. 6 of 1953]).
Name of the Control Body: Geographical Indication “Osaka” Management Committee
Address: 2-9-14 Taiheiji, Kashiwara-shi, Osaka c/o Katashimo Wine Foods Co., Ltd.
Osaka Wineries Association Administration Office
(2) If the Control Body deems that the weather was bad during the grape growing season, the Control Body shall immediately announce to that effect in accordance with the guidelines for work implementation.