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The Elusive Promise of Hokkaido Wines

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The Elusive Promise of Hokkaido Wines

Yulia Ezhikova was spending the winter of 2020 at a ski resort in Hokkaido. Then when it came time to go home to Hong Kong, COVID hit and she was stranded with no idea when travel restrictions would lift. After two days of panic she made up her mind to immerse herself in as much of the local natural wine scene as she could. Seeing her work on Instagram, I pinged her, hey, while you’re there…

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When I say I’ve been harvesting grapes in Japan’s most northern island, Hokkaido, people usually have one of two reactions. It’s either a stunned “There’s wine being made in Japan?” or a pleading, “Can you get me a bottle of Domaine Takahiko?” To the first group, I say, “There is and it’s amazing,” to the second—“I seriously doubt it.”