[Food & Beverages domain]

Château Mercian Mariko Winery Chosen Yet Again By “World’s Best Vineyards 2023”

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July 26, 2023

Mercian Corporation

●Fourth year in a row in the Top 100, ranked 38th
●Selected as the best vineyard in Asia
●Wines imported and sold by Mercian Group from three ranking wineries also selected

TOKYO, July 26, 2023 – Mercian Corporation’s (Mercian) Château Mercian Mariko Winery placed 38th and The best vineyard in Asia in the World's Best Vineyards 2023, held in Spain on July 12 (local time). The Château Mercian Mariko Winery is the only Japanese winery to have placed in the competition four years in a row. Other winners include three wineries whose wines are imported and sold by Mercian Corporation: González Byass - Bodegas Tío Pepe (Spain) in 21st place, Penfolds Magill Estate (Australia) in 44th place Robert Mondavi Winery (United States) in 86th place.

As a leading winery in Japan, Château Mercian will continue to produce high-quality Japanese wines and communicate this homegrown quality domestically and internationally to expand brand recognition as well as contribute to the overall development of the Japanese wine industry.

World’s Best Vineyards

World's Best Vineyards is organized and compiled by William Reed Business Media (WRBM). The awards highlight the 100 best vineyards globally and started guiding travelers to the finest wine experiences in the world. Now running for the fifth time, the awards were launched in 2019. WRBM also hosts the International Wine Challenge (IWC), the world's foremost wine competition. Château Mercian Hokushin Chardonnay 2019 received the highest score for Japanese wine in this year’s IWC awards.

Approximately 500 experts, including world-class sommeliers, wine journalists, and travel professionals, nominate seven wineries for the best winery experience from those they have visited since January 1, 2018. There is no pre-determined list or criteria other than what is publicly available, including tour content at the winery, tasting, ambiance, wine quality, food, staff, scenery, value for money, prestige and location, etc. The experts vote for their top seven wineries they think offer the best overall experience in the world and that they would highly recommend to a friend. The 100 best wineries are selected from these nominees.

Château Mercian Mariko Winery

Opened in 2003 in Ueda City, nestled in the breathtaking Japanese Alps in Nagano Prefecture, the vineyard is a 29-hectare estate that cultivates eight varieties of grapes, including Merlot, Chardonnay, Syrah and Sauvignon Blanc. In 2019, Mercian Corporation opened the Château Mercian Mariko Winery on the hillside of the vineyard, where visitors can see the entire process from grape growing to winemaking. The wines from the Mariko Vineyard have been used at official events in Japan.
In addition, Mariko Vineyard participated in the Ministry of the Environment's "socio-ecological production landscapes and seascapes" (SEPLS) certification demonstration project to achieve the new global target "30by30" adopted at the 15th Conference of the Parties (COP15) to the Convention on Biological Diversity(CBD) , and selected as an "approved site" in January 2023. the Mariko Vineyard is believed to be the only field that is mainly engaged in agricultural production that was selected. Mercian has already applied for official certification, which began in April, and once certified, the Ministry of the Environment plans to register the site in the international database as an OECM to contribute to the COP15 global goal.

Quotes From Château Mercian Winemakers

Mr. Hironori Kobayashi, Château Mercian General Manager

"We are very honored to be selected as one of the "World's Best Vineyards" again this year. Recently, we have gradually been welcoming more and more guests from overseas. In the future, we would like to invite more people from all over the world to visit Château Mercian Mariko Winery and experience the vast vineyards and winery, from cultivation to vinification, and through tastings, introduce the unique characteristics of Japanese wine. With the vision of "Japan recognized as one of the world's foremost wine regions," we will continue our efforts to enhance the value of Japanese wine."

Mr. Takayuki Tamura, Château Mercian Mariko Winery Manager

"The Mariko Vineyard, which opened in 2003, is also celebrating its 20th anniversary. We are very happy that Château Mercian's Mariko Winery has received worldwide recognition for such a milestone year.
We are truly grateful to the many local residents for their support, which has made this recognition possible. In order to realize our vision of "Japan recognized as one of the world's foremost wine regions," we will continue to focus on viticulture and winemaking based on the concept of coexistence with the region, nature, and the future. We hope that many people in Japan and abroad will experience the "Mariko Vineyard" and "Mariko Winery," and that we will be able to promote Japanese wine to a greater number of people. We look forward to seeing you there."

Mercian Group Imports Wines From These Three Other Winners

No. 21: González Byass - Bodegas Tío Pepe (Spain)

González Byass, founded in 1835, is one of the leading figures in the development of sherry into a world-famous wine. In addition to their extensive private tours, they opened the world's first "sherry hotel" in the center of Jerez in 2020, offering not only a great experience in the wineries, but also an even finer experience in Jerez, creating a comprehensive and wonderful wine tourism experience.

No. 44: Penfolds Magill Estate (Australia)

Magill Estate in Penfolds is one of Australia's oldest estates and has played an important role in Australian winemaking, particularly through its Shiraz. As one of the few urban wineries in the world, guests can dine overlooking the vineyards and enjoy a variety of tastings at the cellar door. A sumptuous degustation dinner in the restaurant provides the ultimate Magill Estate experience.

No. 86: Robert Mondavi Winery (USA)

Founded in 1966 by Robert Mondavi, this is the winery that led California to become one of the world's most famous wine regions. Visitors can experience wines from the To Kalon Vineyard - which means "the most beautiful" in Greek - with spectacular views, including Robert Mondavi's Fumé Blanc and Cabernet Sauvignon, which exudes an inexpressible quality, an almost mystical feeling. The region made a major leap from 40th place last year to 7th place and was also named the top North American wine destination for the fourth year in a row.

About Kirin Holdings

Kirin Holdings Company, Limited is an international company that operates in the Food & Beverages domain (Food & Beverages businesses), Pharmaceuticals domain (Pharmaceuticals businesses), and Health Science domain (Health Science business), both in Japan and across the globe.
Kirin Holdings can trace its roots to Japan Brewery which was established in 1885. Japan Brewery became Kirin Brewery in 1907. Since then, the company expanded its business with fermentation and biotechnology as its core technologies, and entered the pharmaceutical business in the 1980s, all of which continue to be global growth centers. In 2007, Kirin Holdings was established as a pure holding company and is currently focusing on boosting its Health Science domain.

Under the Kirin Group Vision 2027 (KV 2027), a long-term management plan launched in 2019, the Kirin Group aims to become “A global leader in CSV*, creating value across our world of Food & Beverages to Pharmaceuticals.” Going forward, the Kirin Group will continue to leverage its strengths to create both social and economic value through its businesses, with the aim of achieving sustainable growth in corporate value.
*Creating Shared Value: combined added value for consumers as well as for society at large.


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