Nagano – coming up on the inside

Ch Mercian pergola-trained Merlot

The ambitions and challenges of the Japanese region of Nagano in central Honshu. See also Nagano – the tasting notes and Japan's many types of wine.

Yamanashi, west of Tokyo, may still be Japan’s dominant wine region in terms of the number of wineries and vineyards, but Nagano appears to the fastest growing, helped by the support of the local government, my hosts on my first trip to Japan earlier this year. (See the overview map in the Japan entry of the Oxford Companion to Wine for the relative locations of Yamanashi and Nagano.)

Nagano ranks second in the number...