Celebrate the New Year: Introducing January’s Premium Wines

Hello, this is Takabayashi from UNWIND HOTEL&BAR OTARU, a lifestyle hotel in Otaru, Hokkaido.

At our hotel, we offer a special service called “Free Wine Service” exclusively for guests. This service is available at BAR Ignis on the first floor from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., providing an hour and a half of unlimited wine and soft drinks.

Our hotel’s wine advisor has curated a selection of three red and three white wines along with various soft drinks for you to enjoy.

Moreover, during this Free Wine Service, we present a premium wine for tasting (additional charge), with a new bottle offered every month.

This time, let me introduce the premium wine for January, our first selection for the year 2024: “HATSUYUKI.”

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The flagship wine of NIKI Hills.

Grape Variety: Kerner (Produced in Niki and Yoichi)
Alcohol Content: 12.5%
Taste: Dry

This wine is crafted at NIKI Hills Winery, located in Niki town on the western outskirts of Otaru City.

What is NIKI Hills Winery?

Quoted from the official Nikihills Winery website:

“In an effort to revitalize the semi-depopulated town of Niki, we initiated our winemaking venture in 2014. Starting from 2015, we began producing wines using grapes from contracted farmers in Niki and Yochi towns. In 2019, we expanded our winemaking to include wines crafted from grapes grown in our own vineyards.

Situated on a 33-hectare property, our winery encompasses a production facility, grape vineyards, natural gardens, a restaurant, and accommodation facilities. With the aim of contributing to local employment and revitalizing Niki town by attracting tourists from both domestic and international destinations, Nikihills Winery strives to be a focal point for the community.”

Now, let’s delve into the specifics of HATSUYUKI wine.

▲ Recommended by our wine advisor at the facility!

HATSUYUKI is NIKI Hills’ flagship wine. This white wine is crafted using 100% Kerner grapes, a grape variety that represents Hokkaido.

The distinctive aroma of green apples and citrus, typical of Kerner, is maximized, allowing you to savor the crisp acidity characteristic of Hokkaido.

Its outstanding compatibility with seafood dishes makes it an ideal choice for enjoying in Otaru.

But what exactly is a flagship wine?

The term “flagship” is a combination of the words “flag” and “ship.”

In Japanese, it means “a warship that commands a fleet.”

In the context of wine, it refers to a wine that serves as a symbolic and representative product for a producer, maker, or brand.

Taking on the role of the face of NIKI Hills Winery is the wine introduced here, HATSUYUKI.

As for Kerner grapes, what kind of grape variety are they?

▲ NIKI Hills Winery: Boasting Vast Fields

The grape variety used for HATSUYUKI at NIKI Hills Winery, Kerner, is a white grape variety born through artificial crossbreeding in 1929 in the Württemberg region of Germany. Considered the northernmost region for winemaking, this German-born grape is known for its cold resistance, early ripening, high yield, and is often hailed as the masterpiece among hybrid grape varieties in Germany.

The town of Niki, where NIKI Hills Winery is located, experiences temperatures as low as around -10°C in winter, similar to Otaru. Hence, the cold-resistant Kerner can thrive in this region.

The name “Kerner” is inspired by the German poet/physician Julius Kerner, who hailed from the Württemberg region. It is said to be named after him due to his literary works that include poems and songs dedicated to wine.

Our in-house wine advisor, who cherishes wine like its his own child.

Now you understand the brilliance of HATSUYUKI.

As mentioned before, we offer a complimentary wine service exclusively for our guests every day from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., featuring HATSUYUKI as a premium wine available for purchase.

Please do indulge in a carefully selected glass here at our facility.

The rebirth of a classic hotel! Featuring contemporary design and service that’s sure to enchant travelers, UNWIND HOTEL&BAR OTARU blends modern amenities with a charming atmosphere!

Click the button below to book your stay at UNWIND HOTEL&BAR OTARU.