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Chichibu liquor exploration tour ① (Usagida Winery)

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“Alcohol” is one of the charms of Chichibu. In fact, you can enjoy a wide range of Chichibu-produced sake, including sake, beer, wine, whiskey, gin, and liqueurs! This time, we explored the Yoshida area, which is also famous for the sake of Chichibu! First, I will start by talking about Usada Winery...

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About Usagida Winery

Usagida Winery produces and sells wine using grapes grown in Chichibu.

You can enjoy unique wines such as white wine, red wine, and unusual red and white wines aged in peated whiskey barrels, and you can also enjoy them at restaurants in Chichibu City!

The winery also has a restaurant where you can enjoy European Chichibu cuisine.

>Address

3720 Shimoyoshida, Chichibu City, Saitama Prefecture

>Access

・20 minutes by bus or taxi from Chichibu Railway Chichibu Main Line Minano Station

・30 minutes by bus or taxi from Seibu Chichibu Station on the Seibu Railway Seibu Chichibu Line

・25km (about 40 minutes) from Kanetsu Expressway Hanazono IC via National Route 140

>Winery tour/tasting

Tours possible, please inquire (closed on Mondays, tours may not be possible during busy periods)

Please inquire about field tours as well.

Tasting available 10:00~17:00 You can sample 10~15 types of wine for free at the directly managed shop.

Let's go for a tour right away!

When you arrive at the winery, you will see a vast vineyard.

It may be too close to convey how vast it is, but apparently it's 2.0 hectares! amazing···

Chichibu has a large temperature difference between day and night, which creates the perfect conditions for grapes to have good sugar content and color.

Varieties include [Muscat Bailey A], [Merlot], [Chardonnay], and [Fuji no Yume].

In addition, it seems that they purchase [Chichibuyama Ruby] from contracted farmers.

By the way, [Chichibuyama Ruby] is an original variety from Chichibu and is a delicious grape that can be eaten with the skin on! Please try it when you come to Chichibu :)

Let's go inside the winery...

The person on the right is Yu Fukada, who was the head brewer of Yokohama Beer.

We also learned that the brewing process for beer and wine is completely different, and even talked about their future prospects. It seems that they are taking advantage of their connections in the beer industry to take on new challenges, such as putting wine in barrels that used to hold beer and letting them sit, and moving the barrels back and forth.

Usagida Winery also sells raw wine to restaurants and accommodation facilities. In the city, you can enjoy precious draft wine like a beer server at "Matsuri no Yu" at Seibu Chichibu Station! Please try drinking it when you come to Seibu Chichibu Station ♩

Staff cleaning wine barrels. It's all thanks to you that our wine is delicious!

Finally, it's time to tour the fields.

The person who showed us around the fields was Kazuhiko Fukada, the company's president. The soil here is clayey, which makes Merlot very delicious. Last year, there was little rain, so there were fewer diseases and the harvest was large!

In the photo, it was the time when they were pruning the grape vines, so they were showing us how to select them. It must be very difficult to prune 2.0 hectares of grapes...

Recently, they have been working with a facility that supports people with disabilities, and they have been helping out, which they say has been very helpful.

Tasting has started ♩

From the left

① Chichibu en primeur blanc 2023 2nd edition Dry white wine (very fresh, citrus-like fruit flavor)

②Chichibu Usagida Winery Fruit wine white (refreshing sweet wine made with rare golden kabosu)

③ Chichibu Rosé Chichibu Meisen Label “Yabun ni Yukido” (fruity wine using Chichibuyama ruby)

④ Chichibu Rouge Usashizuku (Aromatic red wine made by aging red wine in whiskey barrels, then roasting and soaking pieces of Japanese oak Quercus lumber)

⑤Chichibu Blanc (Aromatic white wine aged in peated whiskey barrels)

In conclusion, I liked the one on the far right!

When I just listened to the product description, I thought it was quite harsh, but when I actually drank it, I was impressed by how easy it was to drink! It is easy to drink even for women and is recommended. This means you can try other things as well.

As a result of listening to your words and tasting various wines, I purchased the red wine version (5)!

It was a special experience to taste the wine while having the staff at Usagida Winery explain the production process and backstory directly to us... Thank you for the wonderful time!

In the next article, we will introduce Chichibu Beer!

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A relaxing inn with a modern Japanese atmosphere. Enjoy five types of guest rooms that give you a deep Japanese feel. The breakfast, which uses plenty of local ingredients, is popular. A futuristic powder room that looks like it's inside a spaceship. A private bath where you can enjoy yourself while feeling nature. A space with a wood-burning stove to warm your body and soul. It is decorated with quiet yet gorgeous wildflowers that have a strong presence. 8 minutes walk from Seibu Chichibu Station. Accommodation with no meals and breakfast included. OMOTENASHI Selection 2022 Award Winner

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