Exploring Japanese Wine (7) visiting Kawachi Wine Company, Osaka

Kawachi Wine Company is based in Habikino City, on the border of Osaka and Nara prefectures. The vineyard grows grapes both for wine and for eating: 80% of the graoe production here is for table grapes, which are grown fully under cover to keep their cosmetic quality.

Here we met with Shigeyuki Kondou, the owner (pictured above). This is a family business that began in 1934, and Shigeyuki has changed a lot since he took over. For the last 17 years they have been making wine, which they used to sell in bulk, but a while back they decided to start their own brand.

Kawachi has 1 hectare of their own vineyards, and contract another 5 hectares. But it’s a challenge maintaining vineyards here because of housing pressure, and also the higher profitability of other crops. 75% is white wine, 25% red wine production. They crush around 50 tons each vintage for wine, and another 50 tons for producing brandy and liqueurs (they are specialists in Umeshu).


Kawachi Wine Company Delaware Nouveau 2023 Habikino, Osaka
12% alcohol. From a contract grower, 70-80 year old vines. This is bright, clean, pure and fruity with a hint of melon, some nice pear and table grape notes, and a sense of purity. This has a rounded quality, with a touch of sweetness on the finish. Good acidity and freshness, finishing with a hint of spice and saltiness. Really appealing. 90/100

Kawachi Wine Company Kiei 2023 Habikino, Osaka
This is skin-fermented Delaware, three weeks on skins. This is bright and lively with fresh cherry and pear fruit as well as some citrus. It finishes bright with a slight sourness. Dry and with a bit of structure, and quite light in body. 89/100

Kawachi Wine Company Chardonnay 2021 Osaka and Kyogo Prefectures
13% alcohol. No oak. Quite delicate and fine with midweight pear and citrus fruit, some green apple, as well as a slight stoniness. Nice balance, with good acidity. Has a slight nuttiness on the finish. 88/100

Kawachi Wine Company Merlot 2021 Habikino, Osaka
Mostly estate grapes. Supple, fresh, midweight and highly drinkable with strawberry and red cherry fruit and some gravelly, grainy notes. Has a twist of pepper and a nice sense of freshness and balance. Elegant and expressive, with focus on the fruit. There’s a really nice lightness here. 92/100

Kawachi Wine Company Muscat Bailey A NV Osaka
Appealing floral nose of wild strawberry, rose petal and candy. Supple and fresh on the palate: light in character with real drinkability, showing strawberry and cherry character. 91/100

Kawachi Wine Company Cabernet Franc 2021 Habikino, Osaka
Mostly estate grapes. Debut vintage for this wine. Juicy and vivi, with some freshness to the red cherry and berry fruit with a slight savouriness. There’s some chalk and gravel, but also good acidity, with fine green herbal notes with a hint of pepper. Balanced and accessible, but with a hint of seriousness to accompany the drinkability. 91/100

Kawachi Wine Company Cabernet Sauvignon 2021 Habikino, Osaka
Some stony green notes under the well-defined blackcurrant fruit. This is a cool-climate style of Cabernet with a slight gravelly edge to the fruit on the palate, showing some sapidity and lots of drinkability. Fresh and supple, with well-integrated green notes. 90/100

Kawachi Wine Company Golden Party Sparkling Umeshu
This is powerful and distinctive with a lovely tangy sour plum quality, some sweetness, and then freshness with the bubbles and good acidity. Lovely flavours here.

Kawachi Wine Company Hotei Umeshu
12% alcohol. Very concentrated and sweet, but also with high acidity, and a lovely sourness. Essence of plum with great intensity. Sweet and sour, you just sip this. Remarkable.