Ayana Misawa is the winemaker at her family estate, Grace Wine, Japan.
Sarah Abbott writes: I met Ayana at her family winery two years ago. Winemaking is still seen as a man’s job in most of the world, including in Japan. But Ayana is quietly challenging that.
Firstly, she is an exceptional winemaker. She calmly, irrevocably, quietly innovates for the highest possible quality and nuance. Her vision is completely coherent, from vineyard, to wine style, to the design of her bottles.
I am also inspired by the working relationship she has with her father, himself a winemaker.
In many family wineries, the transition of generations can be fractious – but Ayana approaches this with typical gentle determination, showing respect and appreciation for her father’s achievements. A winemaker himself, he trusts in her innovations, which have been inspired by her wide experience outside of Japan. She has also succeeded in courteously winning the collaboration of the broader, mostly male, technical team.
You can taste her pure intent in her ground-breaking, and delicious, wines.