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.
Chardonnay vineyard of Santory's Tomi-no-oka winery in Kai city, Yamanashi prefecture, pictured on March 27, 2013. Japanese wine is now of sufficient quality to export and could even compete with some old world wines, experts say.
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.
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