• X
  • facebook
  • line

Fukushima Pref. town raises a glass to locally grown wine symbolizing recovery(復興象徴の地元産ワイン)

07/01 14:45

A rendering of the Tomioka Winery, which is under construction(Courtesy of Tomioka Winery)(「とみおかワイナリー」の完成予想図(とみおかワイナリー提供))

 TOMIOKA, Fukushima -- A winery that will produce wine made from grapes locally grown in Tomioka is scheduled to open in 2025 and start selling its first bottles the following year in a project that will symbolize the town's recovery from the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake.
 The Tomioka Winery is due to be completed in spring 2025, make wine from grapes harvested that autumn, and begin sales of this batch in spring 2026.
 A Shinto ceremony to purify the construction site, east of JR Tomioka Station, was held June 6.


 Tomioka-based winemaking company Futaba Lares will construct the winery. In spring 2016, the company's president, Shubun Endo, and some interested parties from the town began experimentally planting grapes on a hill near the coast. Endo established the general incorporated association Tomioka-wine Domaine​ in 2018 and has expanded the vineyard on the eastern side of the station, which was hit hard by the tsunami triggered by the massive earthquake. Tomioka was also severely affected by the ensuing accident at the nearby Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant operated by Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings, Inc.


 About 12,500 grape plants had been planted at the vineyard as of spring 2024. The company plans to eventually increase this number to about 16,000, equal to Tomioka's population before the disaster. In 2020, grapes harvested from the vineyard were made into the first batch of "Tomioka wine" at the Kawauchi Winery in the village of Kawauchi, Fukushima Prefecture. Constructing the new winery will enable the creation of the first Tomioka wine made in the town from grapes also grown there.


 The new winery will be a two-story wooden building with a total floor area of about 400 square meters. The site is where Endo's home once stood and will feature and reuse the sole storehouse that survived the disaster. In addition to wine production facilities and a wine shop, the winery will have a restaurant serving meals made from locally grown ingredients, which customers can enjoy with wine. A facility assisting wine production will be built at the vineyard near the station.


 Attendees at the June 6 ceremony included Endo; Naomi Endo, the company's director; and Junichiro Hosokawa, who is in charge of making the wine.
 "It's taken eight years to finally reach this point," Shubun Endo said. "I want to make this winery the face of Tomioka and a symbol of its reconstruction. I hope many people will visit Tomioka and get a sense of the reconstruction process here."


 Endo's father, Katsuya Endo, was the mayor of Tomioka when the disaster struck. Shubun Endo, who also runs the construction consulting firm Futaba Inc., is determined to make this wine venture a success.
 While wearing a happi coat bearing the name of the cement company that was the foundation of the family business, he said, "I want to carry on the principles of the Endo family and contribute to the town's revitalization."

( Translated by The Japan News )


 【 2024年6月7日付・福島民友新聞掲載 】


  • X
  • facebook
  • line