Agence France-PresseApril 7, 2013 23:00
A thousand years ago, a vine that had travelled from the Caspian Sea coast along Asia's Silk Road arrived in Japan, where its fruit was heralded as having unique medicinal purposes.
Now the "Koshu grape" fills terraces on the foothills of Mount Fuji, where those in the know say it makes a pretty decent and uniquely Japanese white wine that industry leaders say they intend to export to the West.
"The Koshu grape is well suited to the climate," said winemaker Naoki Watanabe. "Its skin is thicker than other varieties to better withstand the heavy rainfall we get here."