iEXPerience Program: iCLA Students Visit Lumiere Winery to Learn about Yamanashi Wine Industry

iCLA’s exchange and short-term study abroad students visited Lumiere Winery as part of iCLA’s iEXPerience Program in November.

iCLA students visit Lumiere Winery to learn about wine making in Yamanashi

The iEXPerience Program organizes field trips to prominent locations in Yamanashi so international students can gain a deeper understanding into Yamanashi’s culture, arts, and history under the guidance of iCLA professors and local professionals. The study abroad experience is also enriched by the cross-cultural experiences and interactions with Yamanashi people. In this iEXPerience Program event held in November, students learned about Yamanashi’s wine industry by visiting a winery operating since 1885.

Yamanashi is Japan’s top wine producing prefecture, accounting for one-third of all production in Japan. The field trip to Lumiere Winery was prefaced with a lecture by Dean Sanjay Jhingan, the course instructor of Earth Science at iCLA. To help students understand the wine industry in Yamanashi, the lecture delved into the geographical and geological reasons behind the region’s excellent environment for grape cultivation and the history of wine making.

The students then moved on to Lumiere Winery to understand the wine industry in Yamanashi. Lumiere Winery is a 130-year-old winery located in Fuefuki City, one of the oldest in Yamanashi. iCLA students received a tour of Lumiere’s facilities and vineyards in English. Students could step into the vineyards where several grape varieties are grown and tour the winery’s vinification equipment to learn about Lumiere’s wine making process, including Lumiere’s special underground fermentation tanks, the “Ishigura”. The students had a special opportunity to speak to the winery’s international business division, where they gained insight into the winery’s strategy for overseas business expansion as well as domestic business. At the end of the event, students could taste and enjoy Lumiere wines in the winery store.

iCLA students visit Lumiere Winery to learn about Koshu wine in Yamanashi
iCLA students visit Lumiere Winery to learn about Koshu wine in Yamanashi

The students gained insights into Koshu wine and Yamanashi’s prosperous wine industry from various disciplines, encompassing geology, history, agriculture, and international business, and deepened their understanding through observation and tasting.

“I enjoyed all parts of it. The chronology in which things were organised was perfect to be able to learn about the land in the lecture, then visit the place and get a tour and then be able to taste the wine we spoke about. I loved the hot wine that was being sold outside in the cold apart from the wonderful tour given to us by the guide.”

Aarzoo, iCLA Exchange Student

“I loved how beautiful the winery was and it was great to explore it for a little bit. I learned a lot about how fruits need certain soil to grow, about how grapes are grown in Japan, and about Lumiere’s export trade.”

Yoshita, iCLA Exchange Student