Enjoy wine sitting under grapevines during a late Autumn weekend!

最近、足利市の障がい者支援施設「こころみ学園」のワイン醸造場「ココ・ファーム・ワイナリー」の34収穫祭「2017 HARVEST FESTIVAL」に行ってきました。東京から足利市まで新幹線とJRに乗って、2時間ぐらいかかりました。

I recently took a day trip to attend the 34th Annual Harvest Festival at Coco Farm and Winery in Ashikaga Prececture, about 2 hours from Tokyo. The Annual Harvest Festival is one of the prefecture's biggest events of the year, and the COCOROMI GAKUEN still serves as a residential facility for intellectually disabled people. Attending the festival means you can drink wine, picnic and celebrate under grapevines up a mountain, AND contribute to the worthy cause of supporting the handicapped!  What a great reason to make the trip out!

About Coco Farm and Winery

"In the 1950s, a group of students, who had been categorized as underachievers in the classroom, and their teacher cleared the slopes of the mountains and planted around 600 vines. In 1984, COCO produced its first batch of wine in a tiny grape cottage located at the foot of the mountain. In 1989, COCOROMI GAKUEN students went to California and planted additional vines. Currently there are about 150 people who are involved in COCO’s wine making, supported by wine makers in Japan and around the world."



Arriving to the festival and the vineyards on the mountainside where festival goers are having picnics and drinking wine!





It was really fun and memorable to drink the harvest's fresh wines under the grapevines! Aside from wines fresh from the barrel that day, there were many other wines available by the bottle.



In addition to wine, numerous food stalls and special guest performances contributed to a lively atmosphere!





ぶどう畑のピクニックはとても楽しかったです!そして、田舎に行って休息を取ることは良かったです。でも、正直に言うと、素晴らしい雰囲気ですが、食べ物の屋台は多くの人々が並んで待っているし、ちょっと不便でした。それに、できたてワインを飲み経験は面白かったですが、味はあまり美味しくなかったです… 今度このようなイベントに行くなら、自分の食べ物やワインを持参した方がいいと思います… (笑)


It was refreshing to get away from Tokyo and be up in the mountains for this special Autumn event. However, it was very crowded and thus a little inconvenient to buy food from the stalls (i.e., long lines and a lot of waiting)! It would be much better to bring your own food (such as bento boxes) for the picnic.  



My first time having fresh wine from the barrel in Japan!

It tasted similar to apple cider as it was still a very young wine.