Nagano region, Japan (10) Vino della Gatta


Nagano region, Japan (10) Vino della Gatta

Vino Della Gatta is a cat-obsessed winery and restaurant, owned by Atsuko Narusawa (centre, in picture below). The winery here is new – it was established last year. In the past the wines were made at two custom crush facilities. There are seven vineyard blocks, totalling 3 hectares, and each is named after a cat.

The winemaker here is Kaori Mitake-Howard (left, above) – she’s just returned from 12 years working with Benziger in the Sonoma Valley, California. Coming back to a tiny winery in Nagano must be quite a culture shock. ‘It’s a hard place to make wine here,’ she says. ‘It rains for weeks and then a typhoon hits you. Last year the grapes got stuck at 19 Brix and then moved just 1 degree in a month.’

Vino della Gatta Sakaki Kyoho Wine 2018 Nagano, Japan
This is made from a black table grape (Kyoho), which is a labrusca. It was immediately taken off the skins to make a white wine, but as tartrates have begun to drop it has turned a delicate pink. Fruity, aromatic nose. Fruity and jellyish with nice bright citrus fruit and some tangerine and almond hints. Juicy finish. 85/100

Vino della Gatta Sauvignon Blanc 2018 Nagano, Japan
Tank sample. Exuberantly fruity with some tank fermentation esters. Fresh citrus fruits with a hint of tropical richness. 87-88/100

Vino della Gatta Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot 2018 Nagano, Japan
Barrel sample. Supple and ripe with nice precision. Midweight with juicy cherry and berry fruits. Fine, expressive and made in a bright style, but with some substance. 88-90/100

Vino della Gatta Shine Muscat 2018 Nagano, Japan
Shine Muscat is a very expensive table grape that normally sells for 1500 Yen a kilo, and a good bunch might set you back 5000 Yen. There was a large yield this year so they were able to get some at a good price to make a wine with. This wine has beautiful aromatics: it is grapey and rich. The palate is vivid and just off dry with amazing precision and focus. Muscatty but with freshness and purity. 90/100

Find these wines with

Nagano Wine Region (2019)

Nagano Wine Region (2018)


1 Comment on Nagano region, Japan (10) Vino della GattaTagged
wine journalist and flavour obsessive

One thought on “Nagano region, Japan (10) Vino della Gatta

  1. HiJamie,
    Thank you for visiting our winery and posting this article about us. It was a great pleasure to meet you over our new wines.
    There are some words that, we think, need to be addressed in the article.
    I have sent you an email for the detail which I hope you could take a look in your spare time.
    We are looking forward to talking to you again,
    Winemaker, Vino della Gatta SAKAKI

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