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Genomic characterisation of Japanese indigenous wine grape

Presented By Shinichi Enoki
February 15, 2024

This talk introduces the Koshu grape, which is important for Japanese wine, and its winemaking. Koshu is an indigenous cultivar in Japan for white wine making. Koshu is a hybrid of Vits vinifera from the Caucasus region near the Caspian Sea and wild variety, Vitis davidii, found in China. Koshu wines have gentle aromas, like apple tart and citrus. In addition, Koshu wines have slight astringency due to phenolic contents in Koshu grape. Koshu wines make the perfect pairing for Japanese cuisine, but also for any Asian or western cuisine, which is inspired by fresh seafood, light meats and vegetables.

Despite its distinct physiological traits, the genetic basis of these traits remained poorly understood until the Koshu whole genome sequencing we performed. This revealed red and white grape genetic characteristics of Koshu contributing to its unique taste.

Koshu has traditionally cultivated in Japan’s humid conditions using the “overhead trellis”. The study of Koshu genome not only unravels its adaptation to the Japanese environment but also holds promise for developing efficient breeding and viticulture techniques of Koshu.

Overall, this genome research sheds light on the genetic complexity of Koshu, providing many ideas for improving Koshu grape qualities. We hope that Koshu wine will be recognised as a unique entity in the world.


Topics to be covered

  • What is Koshu Grape?
  • Genetic characteristics of red and white grapes
  • Environment characteristics for viticulture in Japan
  • Labor Saving in Viticulture


Dr Shinichi Enoki
Shinichi Enoki (Engineering PhD) is Assistant Professor in the Laboratory of Fruit Genetic Engineering of the Institute of Enology and Viticulture, University of Yamanashi, Japan.
His research fields range widely, including viticulture, plant physiology, and molecular biology of wine grape. He is also a member of ASEV (American Society for Enology and Viticulture).
He has studied the genetic characteristics of Koshu (Vitis sp.), a Japanese indigenous grape cultivar for white wine making. Koshu genomic information provides many ideas for improving the quality of Koshu grape.

This is the last of three events in the talk series, Red, White And Rosé: A Celebration Of Wine And Winemaking In Japan.



February 15 (Thursday), 2024
6:00pm-7:00pm AEDT
40min talk + 20min Q&A
Onsite & online via Facebook Live (FB account not required)
Speaker to present remotely

Free; bookings not required


Find out about the Wine Talk series.

Learn more


For onsite attendance, find us at:
The Japan Foundation, Sydney
Level 4, Central Park
28 Broadway, Chippendale NSW 2008


(02) 8239 0055

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