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Akihiro Kumagai of Kanda Vineyard

ID番号 N43325 更新日 平成28年3月7日

akihiro kumagai
“Supporting the reconstruction by creating unique local flavors."

Winemaking with a history

Mr. Kumagai’s company, Kanda Vineyard, was established in 1905, which marks this year as its 101st anniversary. The vineyard is located in Yonesaki-cho, which is known for its apples, but it also grows grapes. These are made into soft drinks and jams.

In Japan, it's very rare for coastal areas to grow their own grapes, so starting last fall, Kanda Vineyard used grapes from their farm to start making wine alongside its other products.

"I do see it as part of an effort towards reconstruction, but we’ve actually been toying with the idea of making wine since before the disaster. I want to keep making wine so that Kanda Vineyard will continue on to its 150th and 200th anniversaries too!" said Mr. Kumagai.

Aiming to make locally-established products

Mr. Kumagai delivered his product to many local eateries and hotels in the area before the disaster. "A lot of stores in Rikuzentakata were washed away. Local trade didn’t come back until 1-2 years after the disaster, but lately people are opening up their stores again, and business is reviving. As someone who's been in the area for so long, it's really great. The reconstruction is not a fleeting project. I want to stand my ground and make products that really take root in the local community. I want people to come to Rikuzentakata, with all of its freshly caught seafood, and pair that with our wine."

With the community developing every day, there's hope that Kanda Vineyard's wine will one day become known as a special local product of Rikuzentakata.
 

Profile

Akihiro Kumagai
Kanda Vineyard
Managing Director

Originally from Rikuzentakata.
Educated in Rikuzentakata through high school.
After high school, he moved to Tokyo to study business management at a technical school. After that, he worked at a restaurant in the city. In 2009, he returned to Rikuzentakata at the age of 25 to work at his family's business, Kanda Vineyard. He is now head of the business.
 

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