Genki Wada has spent his morning meticulously searching for kōmoriga — tiny insects that burrow deep into grape vines.
Carefully, the chief viticulture engineer of Iwanohara Vineyard, Japan’s oldest operating winery, inspects each of the 5,500 grape vines that make up Iwanohara’s six hectares in Kitagata, Niigata Prefecture.
So far, Wada has found three bugs after two hours of work. The midday sun beats down, and beads of sweat pool on his neck. Iwanohara focuses on using as few pesticides as possible, an approach that means Wada is using a handmade tool to dig out any insects he finds.