The Malaysian Guide to Grape Republic's Wine Heritage

Nestled in the verdant hills of Yamagata Prefecture, where the echoes of history whisper through ancient vineyards, a new chapter in Japanese winemaking is being written. The story begins in 2017, when two passionate restaurateurs and sommeliers, Kazuomi Fujimaki and Takayuki Taira, envisioned a future for the neglected farmland of Nanyo City, Taira’s hometown. Their dream? To revive these forgotten fields and breathe life into them through the art of natural winemaking.

Grape Republic was born from this dream, becoming a beacon of hope for sustainable regional development. It bridges the gap between Yamagata's aging farming community and the fresh, modern perspectives of a new generation. Under Fujimaki's management, Grape Republic outlined a clear vision for its wine: to craft vibrant and distinctly Japanese wines using a "freestyle" approach. This meant embracing the unique characteristics of grapes traditionally grown in Yamagata, such as Delaware, Niagara, Steuben, Muscat Bailey A, and Neo Muscat.

Take a look at Grape Republic's Anfora Rosso, with a blend of 35% Steuben, 26% Delaware, 24% Merlot and some Cabernet Sauvignon, Niagara and Neo-Muscato here

The heart of Grape Republic's story is its wines—captivating blends of green, pink, and blue grapes, each bottle a testament to innovation and tradition. These wines, often enhanced by skin contact and amphora aging, are as refreshing and approachable as they are complex and energetic. Fujimaki’s fondness for northern Italian orange wines, from pioneers like Josko Gravner and Paolo Vodopivec, is evident in every sip. If you'd like to try our best-selling orange wines from Italy, check out our collection here.

Grape Republic's orange wine also happens to be one of their best-sellers, GRAPE REPUBLIC ARANCIONE 2022. From reviews, many have alikened it to gummy bears, strawberry, cotton candy, with rich fruitiness and good acidity.

Additionally, the influence of younger, innovative winemakers from Australia and New Zealand, particularly Alex Craighead from Kindeli, shapes the winery's philosophy.

Craighead is not just an inspiration but a crucial partner and mentor, guiding Grape Republic’s young winemakers from the beginning. Together, they uphold a zero-zero natural wine ethos, ensuring nothing superfluous is added to the winemaking process. This commitment extends to avoiding the common Japanese practice of gibberellin treatment, which eliminates seeds in grapes. Instead, Grape Republic preserves the natural acidity surrounding the seeds, essential for their wine’s distinct character. Looking for a refreshing bottle? Click here to learn more.

In 2019, Grape Republic’s narrative took a thrilling turn with the arrival of Haruyuki Yano, an enterprising winemaker enriched by his experiences in New Zealand under Craighead’s mentorship. Yano brought with him not only expertise but a spirit of innovation, steering the winery toward even greater heights. Under his guidance, Grape Republic continues to flourish, solidifying its role as a global hub for young winemakers, chefs, and wine enthusiasts.

One of the unique aspects of Grape Republic is its role as an international gathering place for aspiring winemakers and culinary artists. The winery opens its doors to the world, inviting a diverse array of talent to explore the rich potential of Japanese wine. 

Grape Republic’s journey is more than a story of winemaking; it is a saga of revival and transformation. As the winery grows, it remains steadfast in its mission to craft wines that are a true reflection of Yamagata’s heritage and future. In every bottle, there is a story of passion, innovation, and a deep connection to the earth—a legacy that Grape Republic is proud to share with the world.

Here are some of our favourite picks from their 2022 Vintage Line:




Grab your premium Japanese Natural Wine now - before we run out of these gorgeous, Instagram-worthy bottles 😍🥰