Japanese wine expert: My German superhero wine


What do the Rheingau and a desert island have in common? According to our interviewee Takahiro Yamano: the wine. The managing director of Japanese import company Herrenberger Hof reveals in “The German Wine Questionnaire” which German Riesling gives him superpowers.

In the year 2000, Takahiro Yamano made his first acquaintance with a German Riesling. The following year he started his three-year apprenticeship with various German winemakers during which, in the Rheingau he found, as he says, his second home at the Georg Breuer winery. In 2009, he formed the event organisation ‘Riesling Ring’ in Japan. Takahiro Yamano’s tireless commitment to German Riesling culminated in 2016 when he was named a Riesling Fellow.

1. What was the first German wine you ever tasted and when?
Georg Breuer Riesling Sauvage. I drank it right when I joined the company in April 2000.
I remember it having such a fresh acidity and how much I enjoyed the wine.

2. What was your most memorable moment with German wine?
Being selected as a Riesling Fellow and being invited to Hong Kong with my father for the award ceremony. It was a great honour and a great moment.

3. Where is your favourite place in Germany's wine regions and why?
Rheingau. I was there for only half a year in 2003, at the Georg Breuerwinery, where I learned everything about wine making. He generously taught me a lot and let me practice. It is my second home. It warms my heart even when I remember it now.

4. What would be your desert island bottle of German wine and why?
Georg Breuer Rauenthal Estate. I feel like I can do anything when I drink this wine.

5. Do you have a favourite German dish, and the ideal wine to pair with it?
Spätzle with venisonstew, paired with a medium-dry Riesling that has been aged for about 10 years, e.g. by Weingut Ratzenberger from the Mittelrhein.

6. Who would you like to share a glass of German wine with and why?
The late Bernhard Breuer. I feel that German wine’s presence has spread acrossJapan in the last 15 years. I would like to take him to a restaurant in Osaka to talk about it.

7. Which German wine would you love to taste because you have not had the chance yet?
German wine in 20 years’ time. German wine has changed a lot in the last 20 years so I wonder what kind of wine will be made after the next 20?


The German Wine Questionnaire
This is where the international wine scene gives away private details: The German Wine Institute asks leading lights of the international wine scene seven key questions on German wine.

Already published:
Interview Jancis Robinson MW
Interview Lars Daniel MV