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Four wineries around Sapporo have been gaining attention. The winery at Bankei Pass started production in 2001 as Sapporo's first winery. Sapporo Fujino Winery runs "park golf" courses and a restaurant. (Park golf was invented in Hokkaido and uses balls and clubs larger than those of traditional golf.) Chitose Winery produces a unique wine from the sweetberry honeysuckle of Chitose. Hakkenzan Winery opened at the southern foot of a famous mountain in 2011. The production quantity is small at each of these wineries, and they proudly pour their spirit into each bottle. Why not enjoy these wines with some cheese made from fresh local milk?


Wineries that are small but full of originality


■Wine-making in Sapporo: Originating from Meiji era endeavors

Wineries were launched around Sapporo in the first decade of the 21st century It's often thought that the history of wine production in Sapporo is very short. Few know that Sapporo actually had a winery way back in the Meiji era. The Hokkaido Development Office opened a winery in the suburbs of Sapporo to cultivate vines from American seeds in 1873. Three years later, Sapporo Winery was established on the premises of Kaitaku-shi Brewery for commercial production. Although the winery closed in 1913, great efforts were made until then, such as trying to cultivate vines from French and German seed stocks and devising vats and cellars suitable for wine. The recently vigorous wine production around Sapporo is rooted in those days.


■Wines produced in the suburbs of Sapporo are available here.

A one-minute walk from JR Sapporo Sta. brings you to Hotel Gracery Sapporo, where you'll find Hokkaido Wine & Cheese Street Salon on the seventh floor. Taste wine from wineries around Hokkaido. Around 60 wines are always cellared (250 yen for a taste; 500 yen for a glass). Hokkaido-made cheese can be had on the side for 250 yen. Wines produced by Sapporo Fujino Winery, Hakkenzan Winery and Chitose Winery are sometimes on offer. Some wines are also available at the Daimaru Sapporo, Sapporo Tokyu, Sapporo Marui, Sapporo Mitsukoshi and Lafiler department stores, and at Grand Vin Cellar.

Source: Sapporo Bunko


Hakkenzan Winery


Naturally beautiful scenery is another secret to fine wine.

The winery stands at a place where you can look up at the famous Mt. Hakkenzan. The winery's red building impressively matches the landscape. It started producing wine in 2011, holding to natural practices, as expressed in the mottoes "Wine is made in the field" and "Grapes yearn to be wine." The vintners study methods of processing local fruit under the local climatic conditions. In addition to wine, there's also the production of ciders and fruit jams. You can see the vineyard and the wine-making process. (Lower photo: The Sapporo wine Kanonz Merlot 2014; 720ml, 2,800 yen tax inclusive)



■DATA

  • Address: 194-1, Toyama, Minami-ku, Sapporo
  • Phone: 011-596-3981
  • Hours: 10AM - 5PM (also for the tour)
  • Closed: Mon. (and there is a long-term closure from Dec. to Jan.)
  • Parking: 30 vehicles (free)
  • Access: about a 40-min. drive from downtown Sapporo
  • Also sold at Yume Cafe Makuru (Sapporo), Hokkaido Wine & Cheese Street Salon (Sapporo), etc.

Click here for details.

Sapporo Fujino Winery


Careful picking maintains the grape's flavor.

They tried to find varieties and cultivation methods suitable for the land and weather from the spring of 2000. It took them about a decade to successfully grow many varietals. The year 2009 saw the first production. Quality grapes are cultivated at their vineyards and at those of contracted farmers. Each grape is chosen with care. The grapes ferment without the addition of extra yeast. Additives are used very sparingly. Producing wine naturally is the principle of their wine-making. They run a restaurant called "Vigne," where you can enjoy pasta and pizza as well as wine. They also own an English garden and "park golf" courses. Strolls of these are recommended. (Lower photo: The Fujino series (from 1,600 yen). For easy enjoyment, the wine is light and is made from table grapes.



■DATA

  • Address: 2-10, Fujino 3-jo, 1-chome, Minami-ku, Sapporo
  • Phone: 011-593-8700
  • Hours: 11AM - 6PM (Reservation is needed for a guided tour.)
  • Closed: Tue. and the year-end and New Year's holidays
  • Parking: 4 vehicles (free)
  • Access: A 25-min drive from downtown Sapporo
  • Also sold at Hokkaido Wine & Cheese Street Salon (Sapporo), Senmaru Liquor Shop (Sapporo), Marui Imai (Sapporo), Wine Shop Fujii, etc.

Bankei Touge Winery


A weekend tasting is held once a month, offering you a precious opportunity.

Despite the address in the Chuo (central) Ward of Sapporo, the winery is deep in the mountains, on a hillside at Bankei Pass. They've been making wine since 2001. They produce grape wines, hard cider and wines of other fruits. They never use any artificial antioxidizing agents or other additives during production. These hand-crafted wines showcase the splendor of yeast. They believe in the power of fermentation and of trying to make the most of the natural blessings of Bankei Pass. The terraced café Toge-no-chaya (café at the pass) is open on the last weekend (Sat. and Sun.) of each month. Taste and enjoy wine with handmade cakes, bread and cheese.


■DATA

  • Address: 201-4, Bankei, Chuo-ku, Sapporo
  • Phone: 011-618-0522 (Reservation is needed for a guided tour.)
  • Hours: 10AM - 4PM on the last Sat. and Sun. of each month
  • Parking: 5 vehicles (free)
  • Access: From the Maruyama-koen-eki bus stop, take the Bankei Bus, and get off at the Toge-no-winery-mae bus stop (15 min.). Or drive 15 min. from downtown Sapporo.
  • Also sold at Lucky Yamanote Store (Sapporo), Lucky Hassamu Store (Sapporo), Senmaru Liquor Shop (Sapporo), Dosanko Plaza Sapporo Shop (Sapporo), etc.

Click here for details.

Chitose Winery


Original wines that make the most of specialty fruit in Chitose

Established in 1988 as the second plant of Chuo Wine, the winery became independent in 2011. It produces wine using sweetberry honeysuckle, a specialty fruit in Chitose. Kita Wine, which has taken a prize at a domestic wine competition, is also produced here. A ten-minute walk from JR Chitose Sta. brings you to this winery in a stately stone building. Tour the building and enjoy tasting and shopping. (Lower photo: Sweetberry honeysuckle wine (1,365 yen). Five varieties are available. Each is popular for its rich flavor.)


■DATA

  • Address: 1-7, Takadai, Chitose
  • Phone: 0123-27-2460
  • Hours: 9AM - 5PM (Reservation is needed for a guided tour.)
  • Closed: Sat., Sun., and nat'l holidays during Nov. - Mar., and the year-end and New Year's holidays
  • Parking: 10 vehicles (free)
  • Access: A 10-min. walk from JR Chitose Sta.
  • Also sold at Dosanko Plaza Sapporo Shop (Sapporo), New Chitose Airport (Chitose), etc.

Click here for details.

Sample original local cheeses with your wine.

A rich variety of cheeses: some fresh, some hard and some long popular in Hokkaido

[Ebetsu] Machimura Farm Milk Garden

Relax and enjoy sweets at the ranch.

A direct-sales shop located amidst pastoral scenery. Don't miss the Machimura Farm Special Cheesecake, the Machimura donuts and the regular soft-serve ice cream and bottled milk. Space for eating is available.

Eat here!

  • Machimura Farm Milk Garden
  • Address: 183, Shinotsu, Ebetsu
  • Phone: 011-375-1920
  • Hours: 9:30AM - 5:30PM
  • Closed: Irregularly
Machimura Farm Camembert: \648 (tax inclusive) (at the direct-sales shop)

This product is distinguished by the unique aroma of its white mold. Aging deepens the flavor and aroma.

[Ebetsu] Cheese Factory Platz (Yonemura Farm)

Aged cheese full of flavor and spirit

This small factory produces cheese from about 200 liters of milk in spare moments between farm work. The milk is produced with cheese in mind. They aim to make cheese that's good for health.

Eat here!

  • Cheese Factory Platz (Yonemura Farm)
  • Address: 555, Kakuyama, Ebetsu
  • Phone: 011-384-6288
  • Hours: 10AM - 4PM in summer, 11AM - 4PM in winter
  • Closed: Mon. - Sat. (Open on weekdays by reservation. Telephone/fax orders are possible.)
  • Sold at the direct-sales shop at the farm, Kururu-no-mori (Kitahiroshima), Seikyo supermarkets (Ebetsu and Sapporo), Farm Restaurant Shokusai (Ebetsu), Nopporo Farm Stand (Ebetsu) and Hokkai Store (Ebetsu)
Extra-aged hard cheese (530 yen)

This semi-hard cheese is a type of Gouda. The aging period varies from 6 months to 24 months, which offers you a taste to your liking. Raclette lunch: \2500 (by reservation, limited to one pair each weekday)

[Eniwa] Milk-no-Atelier (cheese studio and restaurant)

Smooth, chewy mozzarella plays a starring role in the dishes.

Smooth mozzarella is made from milk collected every morning. Enjoy pasta and pizza that are generously endowed with cheese. The cheese goes well with homegrown vegetables.

Eat here!

  • Milk-no-Atelier (cheese factory and restaurant)
  • Address: 28, Enami, Eniwa
  • Phone: 0123-39-2546
  • Hours: 11AM - 5PM (last call is 4:30PM)
  • Closed: Wed.
  • Also sold at Foods Variety Sugihara (Sapporo)
Ranch mozzarella cheese (500 yen at Milk-no-Atelier)

This cheese is tasty when cooked, but it's particularly silky and flavorful when served raw.

[Sapporo] Megmilk Snow Brand

Known to everyone; an established long-seller

Snow Brand has been producing and selling cheese since 1933. It's popular among people in Hokkaido. The Hokkaido 6P Cheese series has been popular since its debut in 1954.

For sale here

  • Souvenir shops and other retail stores in Hokkaido
Hokkaido 6P Cheese (380 yen, or 1,142 for a three-pack set)

Three flavors unique to Hokkaido: scallop, "soup curry" and corn

[Sapporo] Shinsapporo Milk

Known to everyone; an established long-seller

Their primary product is a series of cheeses under the original brand name of Kobayashi Ranch Story. They pursue a natural cycle that involves soil, grass and cattle. The cheese is produced from the milk of healthy cows raised without stress.

For sale here

  • Daimaru Sapporo (Sapporo), Kita Kitchen (Sapporo), Sapporo Tokyu Department Store (Sapporo), Dosanko Plaza Sapporo Shop (Sapporo), ANA FESTA (New Chitose Airport)

The Kobayashi Ranch Story series

The Handmade Blue Cheese and Handmade Camembert have won awards for excellence at the All-Japan Natural Cheese Contest.


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