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Kikyogahara Wine Valley

Kikyogahara is located in Shiojiri city, the southern part of the large Matsumoto Basin. It is an fluvial terrace with a very gentle slope, formed by the Narai River and its tributary. Most of the vineyards are located on terraces consist of volcanic ash soil. Farmers grow various kinds of crops here. At the beginning of Meiji period, the cultivation of grapevines began in this region,making Kikyogahara one of the oldest regions of winemaking in Japan. Although Niagara and Concord varieties are dominant, the Merlot of Kikyogahara has a high reputation. Recently, new vineyards can be seen along the Narai River, which flows along the lowest level of land in this area.