The following is an excerpt from an article that was originally published in Issue 3 of inCiderJapan magazine.
As mentioned in the first part of this series in the last (spring) issue of inCiderJapan, there are over 2000 varieties of apples growing in Japan. Continuing our journey across the colorful world of Japanese apple orchards, here we highlight a few regional trends and innovations.
Nagano is certainly one of the most dynamic prefectures when it comes to apple production. In the past few decades, they have created a whole new series of apples called Shinano. The first breed, Shinano Sweet, quickly became a popular eating apple thanks to its high sugar content and candy-like sweetness inherited from its Fuji parent. Following that success, sweeter eating apple cultivars such as Shinano Gold and Shinano Dolce were introduced. Although these cultivars are not quite suitable as a cider base, another variety, Shinano Red (a cross between Tsugaru and Vista Bella), does enjoy a better sweetness/tartness balance and is well showcased in Kamoshika Cidre’s “La 1ère Saison Doux 2017”, which also contains a small blend of sharp and crisp Greensleeves apples.