In 2003, Takahiro Koyama went to study Viticulture and Oenology at Lincoln University, just outside of Christchurch, concurrently landing a role as cellar hand at Mountford Estate under the guidance of CP Lin. This foundational experience instilled Takahiro with a profound respect for attention to detail and integrity that can be seen in each of his wines today.
Following his time at Mountford, he worked in important wineries around the world. He spent some time at Weingut Keller in Rheinhessen, Germany to better understand the purity of Riesling. From there, he joined California trailblazer, Jim Clendenen, at Au Bon Climat in Santa Maria to hone his skills with Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Upon graduating in 2006, he became assistant winemaker at Mountford and in 2009—while still at Mountford—he started to make wine under his Koyama label.
Most of Takahiro’s wines are vineyard specific because of the different soil compositions. He works closely with the three local growers to coax the best from each site. Canterbury/Waipara may be one of the least known regions for New Zealand wine but it is a star on the rise. Takahiro is part of the vanguard of winemakers putting this region on the world wine map.
Working closely with growers, Takahiro takes a low impact approach. His attention to detail means spray regimes in the vineyards are designed to build the health of the vines and the soil with fermented fish fertilizers and organic inputs. Rigorous canopy management is employed to keep the constant spring and summer growth open and light. This approach enlists the powerful nor-westers and North Canterbury sun to keep the vines naturally disease-free.