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Domaine Tetta

Domaine Tetta, "Bonbons Colorés Rosé" 2019

Domaine Tetta, "Bonbons Colorés Rosé" 2019

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Regular price $36.00 USD
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About the wine

A rosé of hybrid varietals Aki Queen and Muscat Bailey, blended with Chardonnay. Lychee-explosion!

From the importer: "Aki Queen is a Japanese variety famous for table grapes. We macerated Aki Queen for 4 months while doing punch downs 3 times a day. After pressing, we blended it with the other rosé."

*1 bottle per customer, please*

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If you could gaze down from the sky as if through a bird’s eye, you’d be forgiven for mistaking the eight hectares of vines that Domaine Tetta proudly cultivate in Okayama for the kind of futuristic, garden-colony Matt Damon fussed with in The Martian. There is a general, gauzy sheen to the tops of the plants, white bulbs that enclose the rows of young fruit-bearing vines. This is a local innovation, not dissimilar to the nets sometimes cast over vines in Northern California to ward off deer, nor the (human) hair once strewn about Axel Prüfer’s rows in the Languedoc to dispel the possibility of an overnight boarish disaster (the pheromones keep them out). However, instead of protection from animals, the white proprietary vinyl covers employed by Domaine Tetta are to offset the historically rough climate for the cultivation of grapes, i.e. rain & brutal summer heat/sun. As we know with our changing climate, the places where grapes meant for wine may be best-suited to grow, are changing. The white vinyl covers still represent a necessity of condition to foster an optimal growing environment for grapes such as Chardonnay, Muscat Bailey A, Cabernet Franc, Koshu, Muscat d’Aelxandria, etc. All of this is to say: Japan may very well represent the future (& already does in so many ways) for the frontier of low-intervention winegrowing. For a solid endorsement of this, you can look at Hirotake Ooka of La Grande Colline fame, who traded the Northern Rhône for his native Okayama some years ago. 


Part of the attraction of not just Japan generally, but this particular area of southwest Japan’s Okayama prefecture has to do with several fortunes of circumstance. In a famously geologically/tectonically active country such as Japan, the existence of a stable bedrock is rare-as-rare-gets. Throw in the presence of limestone-rich soils with a terra rossa topsoil, an evermore drastic diurnal shift, & moisture-clearing winds, & you’re on your way to a kind of haven for grape-growing. This is the area where Domaine Tetta operates, the town of Tetta, some 90 minutes northwest of Okayama airport within the wider limits of a city on the edge of the snow-capped Chungoku Mountains known as Niimi City. It is called the Kibi Plateau. A limestone mining/quarry industry has been taken up here in the past century or so – this same industry that the founder of Domaine Tetta, Ryuta Takahashi worked in until around 2009 when he came across some thickets of abandoned grapevines in his home prefecture of Okayama. 


The clearing – which is a patchwork of lightly rolling hills with the Chungoku Mountains providing a fearsome backdrop – was once an Edenic nursery of Muscat d’Alexandria, Pione, Koshu & the like. This was how he remembered the area. In this part of Okayama – as is a trend across Japan with depopulation & an aging populace in rural regions – agricultural plots the have become abandoned and fallen into general disrepair. Given his knowledge of the local soil & deep bedrock of the Kibi Plateau, paired with his desire to see this agricultural gem return to a future-past of bounty & beauty, Takahashi endeavored to start a winery. 


Founding a “Domaine” was particularly important to him because it represented a rarity across Japanese Wine Production writ large. Given the difficulties of historically growing grapes in Japan, Japanese wine has frequently been vinified with imported grape concentrate from abroad. Instead, with Takahashi & Tetta, the inception of a “Domaine” meant everything – from idea to seed to vine to cellar to bottle to glass – took place on-site. The wines bespeak the verve of the project, the commitment to communicating ‘Tetta,’ this tiny town on top of a viticultural gold-mine, so to speak, in addition to the particularity of grapes capable of being grown here. A perfect cross-section of hybrids, vinifera, & labrusca grapes grow in the southwest of Japan & have landed, windswept & ready. 

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  • Serving natural wine lovers since 2006

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