Utilizing Undersea Wine Aging to Stimulate Economy of the Southwestern Japan Island

Bringing Buzz to Kagoshima Prefecture with an Undersea Wine Cellar: A Journey into Uncharted Waters for Japanese Wine Industry

A Tokyo-based firm is taking a unique approach to revitalize the local economy in Kagoshima Prefecture, located in southwestern Japan. The company has submerged wine bottles in an undersea cellar off Amami-Oshima Island in the Oshima Strait, hoping that the aging process will attract attention and customers to the region.

The practice of aging wine underwater is not new, but it is rare in Japan. However, the president of the company, Yui Moritani, believes there is potential for growth and interest. The wine bottles were submerged at a depth of about 20 meters off the town of Setouchi on January 30th, 2024. A total of 500 bottles of European wine were placed in stainless steel cages. Most of the bottles will remain in the sea until June, to be served to customers in July. Additionally, some bottles will be left to age for a longer period so that the company can determine the optimal maturation period for the best tasting wine.

Moritani also hopes that this undersea wine cellar will serve as an artificial reef, attracting fish and sea life such as seaweed which will absorb carbon dioxide and improve the environment. While this project faces some challenges like warmer water temperatures, Moritani remains optimistic about its potential for innovation and growth in the area.

The company recently opened a local restaurant serving wine in Setouchi and plans to establish an underwater aging service for wine bottles from customers in the future.

This innovative approach by Moritani could pave the way for new opportunities for tourism and agriculture in Kagoshima Prefecture by creating a unique attraction that draws visitors from around the world.

In conclusion, while it’s not common practice to age wine underwater, Moritani sees it as an opportunity to bring attention and economic benefits to Kagoshima Prefecture. As more people become aware of this unique experiment, it could lead to increased interest and demand for these aged wines.

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