In the mid-2000s, Toyohiko and Michiko Kanehashi were at the height of their respective careers in music production and orthopedic medicine. Toyohiko had worked with the likes of John Legend and Frank Sinatra, producing music for TV commercials and film. Michiko held a lectureship at a Tokyo university and frequently attended conferences in the United States and Europe.
They met late in life — when Toyohiko broke his ankle and a friend referred him to Michiko for treatment — and discovered a shared passion for fine wine, in particular natural wines from Burgundy and Bordeaux. “Whenever we met, we drank wine,” Michiko says with a chuckle. “And more wine.”
The wine dates blossomed into marriage and then a self-taught journey, starting with both around age 50, from amateur oenophiles into producers of some of Japan’s most sought-after wines — at their vineyard Funky Chateau.