We were driving along a country road in Katsunuma on our way to Erin-ji for the spring festival when we saw a large barn-like wooden building with a sign saying ‘Wineglass Hall Katsunuma’. A peach tree was blooming by the entrance and a graceful winged being was attached to the wall above the door. Naturally we stopped to investigate.
A wooden bench next to the entrance invites you to pose for photos under the peach tree. The entrance area is paved with old red bricks, and a huge vase of blossom stands on the floor. Inside the building the light of spotlights and chandeliers sparkle and gleam on the wine glass displays. The displays are set up on antique wooden furniture, shelves, and even a wooden cart. There are also some very fine stained glass windows in the building.
Wine glass store
In the ground floor store there are over 200 different kinds of wine glasses. Whether you fancy something classic or something edgy to drink your wine from, I’m sure you could find the perfect wine glass here. There are also all manner of wine related accessories, as well as a selection of wines for sale. I wanted to try the sakura wine, but since we had just visited Mann’s Wines and bought some yuzu wine, I resisted the temptation. There was also jewelry made from hand-crafted glass beads.
Up the stairs we found an interesting little museum. The walls were hung with wine themed artwork, and there were also framed collections of wine labels from various famous wine locations around the world such as Alsace, Bordeaux and Champagne. There were other collections too, of corkscrews and bottle tops, and antique glasses.
An inviting cafe with tall windows hung with red velvet curtains is attached to the Wineglass Hall. It is famous for raisin bread baked in a stone oven fired with wood from grape vine prunings. The cafe also sells light meals like pasta and curry.
If you would like to try making candles, decorated wine glasses, glass beads or hand-made accessories you can do it here. Depending on what you want to make it will cost between ￥1200 and ￥1600. A reservation is recommended.
Pick up some grapes
Before you leave, make sure you visit the small, cute shop to one side of the Wineglass Hall. It is named Hitofusa-ya which means ‘One Bunch Store’. In summer and fall they have grapes for sale there. In fact we were very surprised that they had grapes even in spring! We asked whether they were imported, and were told they had been kept in cold storage since the end of the last harvest! The store also sells preserves, dried fruit and handcrafts.