In the snow weather, went to a winery in Yoichi. Headed to Occi Gabi Winery. Last visit was in autumn. Sasson and Shiribeshi Expressways were closed on this day due to snow. The signboard in the snow scene was wonderful.
On the way crossed Yoichi River where could see the Nikka Whiskey Yoichi Distillery.
Occi Gabi Winery in the snow. The scene reminded of the Iwamizawa wineries visited in February this year and the Finger Lakes winery tour in December last year.
It was delicious last time, so would have lunch at the Ochigabi restaurant today.
Mr. Kiichiro Ochi, the owner of Occi Gabi Winery, founded and managed Cave d'Occi Winery, a well-known winery in Niigata, then transferred it to the younger generation, and moved to the Yoichi town in 2012. He thought Yoichi as the best place for growing French fine wine grapes in consideration of the climate change. He then launched the winery in just five years and has received high praise.
Started with a glass of Pinot Noir. This was the wine impressive last time, with a beautiful and silky taste. The majority of Pinot Noir produced in Japan is now cultivated in Yoichi and Sorachi, Hokkaido.
Pinot Noir saplings were distributed to farmers in Yoichi in 1982, and wineries were established in Hokkaido after 2000, so the history of wine is still short. In Yoichi, starting with the foundation of Domaine Takahiko in 2010, and being also boosted by certification as a special wine zone the following year, now Yoichi is the most popular wine-producing region represents Hokkaido, and there are beautiful vineyards everywhere.
Lunch salad. Vegetable first.
Barley pork loin cutlets Milanese style. It was big and delicious.
Bouillabaisse with flounders from the near sea. It was not Marseille-style (by Charte de la Bouillabaisse) because it was made into soup, contained flatfish, clams and mussels, and did not have rouille or aioli. Yoichi style bouillabaisse warmed up on a snowy day.
When thinking about bouillabaisse, remembered the bouillabaisse enjoyed in Marseille and Nice, and the wonderful bouillabaisse by chef Johnny (Chez Johnny) passed away this year.
Snow outside the window. There was a feeding platform for small birds, and sparrows were gathering even in the snow.
Occi Gabi's "Occi Gabi Wine Club". With an initiation fee of 10,000 yen, tasting there is free, and can get one bottle of wine every year for 8 years.
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