Long renowned as an agricultural hub rife with orchards and pristine water sources, a group of viticulturists, distillers and brewers are quietly developing Yamanashi into a hub of Japanese wine, whisky and beer production.

Just a short trek from the bustling downtown area of central Yamanashi's Kofu Station, a beautiful estate sits surrounded by mountains resembling the grounds of a Tuscan monastery. Founded in 1917 by Seizo Imai, Sadoya Winery is run today by his grandson, Hirohisa.

"We make wines that extract the best from the weather and nature around us," Imai says as he attributes Yamanashi's unique climate profile to the success of Sadoya's flagship wine available in both red and white, the Chateau Brillant. According to Japan's Meteorological Society, the prefecture gets the longest hours of sun exposure, the largest temperature difference between night and day, and the lowest annual rainfall in Japan — peak conditions for cultivating wine grapes, which thrive on weather conditions of the opposite extremes.