Are we doing anything good for the Earth?
Camel Farm Winery was established in 2014 as an agricultural operation of Camel Coffee Group.
At Camel Coffee Group, we care a lot about nature and our environment and we are always asking, are we doing good for our planet? We want to ensure that both our customers and the planet are happy with our products.
The story of us trying to help the world began as we started a project to import coffee beans from the so-called Golden
Triangle in Thailand. The residents there used to be trapped deeply in poverty and growing opium poppy used to be the way for them to survive. That made the region a leading place for opium poppy growing.
To help the people out/initiated Doitung Project/Monarchy of Thailand/replace opium with coffee/aim to improve the residents’ lives, protect the forest and eradicate opium growing. we started to import and sell their coffees in Japan.
Our second project started from a visit to a winey located in Emilia-Romagna, Italia. What the workers there shared with people we met in Golden Triangle in Thailand was that they both used to grow and use drugs. To help to rehabilitate these young men and provide work skill training for them, the San Patrignano Project was initiated and the winery is a part of it.Their wine was the highest-quality and thus the decision to import seemed pretty natural. There, Riccardo Cotarella, a winemaker, led the team and offered technical support for free.
Many young people were working hard there. What they all had in common was that they once got into drugs and fell into drug addiction.
The “San Patrignano Project” was started in 1978 with the aim of making young people acquiring skills to help reintegrating them into society. San Patrignano’s winery was run as part of that project.
The quality of the wine produced there was so high that the decision to import it in Japan seemed pretty natural to us. The winemaker who provided free of charge technical support and directed the winery project was Mr. Riccardo Cotarella..
A New Challenge begins.
Mr. Cotarella is one of the leading enologos in modern Italy. He has been playing the central part in the modernization and the improvement of quality of Italian wines.
As we talked about the decreasing number of and the aging issue of Japanese farmers, he offered to lend a hand to invigorate Japanese agriculture through world-class winemaking.
We felt strongly that we had something in common and this turned out to be the beginning of Camel Farm Winery.
At first, we made our wines in Yamanashi, a major winemaking region in Japan.With the help from experts and local wineries, we kept improving our wines by trial and error. Meanwhile, we were travelling around the country to find the ideal vineyards and was fortunate to meet Takeshi Fujimoto, a grape farmer in Yoichi, Hokkaido.
He is the local pioneer in growing wine grapes and is famous for it. ”We could definitely dominate the world market if we settled here”, uttered Mr. Cotarella as we visited his vineyards.In 2014, we started a new project in Yoichi where we invited volunteer staff of Kaldi Coffee Farm from all over the country to grow grapes on Mr. Fujimoto’s farms.
What impressed us most was the fact that he is not just a farmer but a manager with superb artisanship, vision and business sophistication.
It was that artisanship that made it possible for us to learn the in-and-out of grape production in Hokkaido. We also learned a lot about equipment and the maintenance of it. The staff who made wines in Yamanashi designed our winery with the advice from Mr. Cotarella. By 2017, the winery, which stands next to our vineyards, was completed and now we could grow grapes and make wines all in one place. Enthusiasm, latest technologies and a great terroir. We started our journey to becoming a world-class winery.
While talking with him about various issues of agriculture in Japan, such as young people abandoning the fields and the ageing of remaining smallholders, Mr. Cotarella offered to support and promote Japanese agriculture through world-class winemaking.
Mr. Fujimoto was locally known as a pioneer in the cultivation of wine grapes, and he was looking for a successor. The moment Mr. Cotarella visited Mr. Fujimoto’s vineyard, he said: “We could definitely aim for the world market from here!”
In 2014, we started a new project in Yoichi: staff who volunteered from Kaldi Coffee Farms all over Japan gathered to start vine cultivation in the vineyards inherited from Mr. Fujimoto.
The first thing we noticed there was the awesomeness of Mr. Fujimoto, who is regarded by farmers in Yoichi both as a pioneer of wine grapes cultivation and a skilled businessman with a wise managerial vision.
Under that craftsmanship, we learned how to grow grapes unique to Hokkaido. At the same time, we also learned about the maintenance of brewing equipment and related techniques. The Yamanashi staff learned the know-how of winemaking under Mr. Cotarella in Italy while the design of the winery in Japan went on thanks to Mr. Cotarella’s advice. In 2017, we completed the winery, which is located right next to our vineyards, creating an environment where you can consistently grow grapes and produce wine. With unwavering passion and the latest technology, making the most of Yoichi’s terroir, we started our journey to become a world-class winery.
Wines for all the world, made with passion and love.
Camel Farm Winery is the result of a collective effort by many. Mr. Fujimoto, who has been cultivating wine grapes in Yoichi since the 1980s, taught us the know-how of viticulture, while world-renowned winemaker Mr. Cotarella shared traditional Italian winemaking techniques as well as the latest technologies with us. Now, our mission is to put these skills, knowledge and technologies into a wine bottle and deliver them from Yoichi to wine lovers across the globe. This is the dream shared by all the people who have been involved in this project so far.