“Being Japanese, my cultural view of craftsmanship and vision is like that of the old Ukiyo-e artists. I aspire for continuous improvement.”
When I was a child, I saw my parents enjoy wine at dinner parties. Because of their experience, I was eager to discover wine for myself when I grew up.
My grandparents, being farmers and entrepreneurs, inspired me to start my own journey into the world of wine.
When I was a college student, I found a wine shop. The owner was so kind. With her advice, I tasted many varietals from around the world. She taught me about different winemaking techniques, the journey winemakers take to get to where they are and the process of becoming a winemaker.
When I visited Napa Valley in 1996, I was mesmerized by the beauty of the region, and warmed by the hospitality of the people. Napa Valley brought back memories of the wine shop I was so fond of. I knew that this was the place I would start my journey.
In 2000, I joined Inglenook (formerly Niebaum-Coppola Estate Winery and Rubicon Estate), working in the tasting room. A year later, I transitioned to production and winemaking to follow my dream of becoming a winemaker.
There are so many people who taught me about farming, winemaking, and life back then, including Scott McLeod (Winemaker), Corey Beck (Assistant Winemaker), Larry Stone (GM & Master Sommelier), Stephane Derenoncourt (Winemaking Consultant), Gianni Colantuoni (R&D Manager), Enrique Herrero (Viticulturist), Philippe Bascaules (Director of Winemaking), and Mr. & Mrs. Coppola (Owners).
I’m incredibly grateful for all they taught me. Without their guidance I wouldn’t have been able to launch my own brand. Now, I have the honor of serving you my very first vintage.