Talk about bouquet. Meijo University in Nagoya has produced sparkling wine from grapes and yeast derived from carnations.
Hana no Shiro (Blossom Castle) is the fourth product that the university’s faculty of agriculture has developed using carnation yeast, and is now available for purchase on campus.
The rose wine — its light pink color somehow recalls the carnation — has a soft and pleasant taste with a hint of floral scent and contains only 11 percent alcohol, making it easier to drink.
Professor Masashi Kato, a microbiology expert, successfully extracted brewing yeast from carnations in 2010.
In 2013, the team used the flower’s yeast to make sake as well as ice cream from “sakekasu,” the lees left over from sake production. They then produced a vinegar for drinking in April using the sake as raw material.
Kato believed that the flavor of carnation yeast would be a perfect match for sparkling wine and began experimenting with wine creation using grapes cultivated by students in the faculty’s basement facility.
After harvesting the grapes, his students visited Tsurumi Brewing in Tsushima, Aichi Prefecture, to study the process of making wine.
“With help and guidance from wine researchers in Aichi and Yamanashi prefectures, we created a batch of yeast that releases just the right amount of acidity. Of the four carnation products, this is by far our most unique item,” said Kato.
The bottle label was selected from 20 design ideas submitted by students and professors at the university. The winner was 22-year-old Ryusuke Baba from the department of architecture, who came up with the name of the wine and proposed that carnations adorn the bottle.
“I’m glad that my design highlights the color of the wine,” said Baba.
The wine is priced at ¥1,850 for a 500-ml bottle and can be purchased at the JB’s store on campus or via telephone. For more information, please call 052 (837) 1511.
This section, appearing Saturdays, features topics and issues from the Chubu region covered by the Chunichi Shimbun. The original article was published on Dec. 20.