Kacaba Vineyards

Posted 2006.11.23 1.00 in Wine by Stephanie

The third stop of the day for my mother and I last Thursday was Kacaba Vineyards. As with all the other wineries, the staff were helpful, knowledgable, and eager to talk wines. The only problem I had at Kacaba was that there was a strong odour in the tasting room, kind of a mediciny smell, which greatly impacted my ability to nose their wines.

Riesling, 2004, VQA Niagara. This was a dissapointment for me. I found only sour apples and chemicals on the nose, and it quite put me off the wine. The body was light and mild, and the finish was short, with just enough acidity and fruit to make it refreshing. I could only give this one an 80 on the Stephanie Scale. Kacaba’s Riesling is priced at $14.00 per bottle.

Gypsy White, 2004, VQA Niagara. A blend of Riesling, Muscat Blanc and Pinot Gris. The nose held very strong floral aromas. The body was light, refreshing, crisp and pleasant. The finish was medium and refreshing as well. This wine earned an 87 and at only $12.00 per bottle, it is a steal.

Meritage, 2002, VQA Niagara. Kacaba’s Meritage is a Bordeaux-style blend. The nose was bold, with toasted oak, cassis, and peppers all in attendance. A rull, rich body carrying spicy tannins, but with a creamy mouthfeel, led to a long, fruity, plummy finish. A bold wine with aging potential, I gave this one 88 points. At $40.00 per bottle though it is a bit out of my range.

Kacaba Vineyards

Need Help with Translation

Posted 2006.11.23 1.00 in Swords by Stephanie

So I’ve got this sword. It’s a Japanese sword, a wakizashi, purported to be late Koto period. It has a two-character mei (signature) and I’m trying to translate it.

I don’t speak Japanese, and know very little of the written language. My ignorance is compounded by the fact that the mei is, perhaps, 500 years old, scratched into steel, and not necessarily the best handwriting to read in the first place.

Of the two characters, the second one was relatively easy to transcribe. I am fairly sure it is moto. The first character is proving more difficult. I’ve been reviewing the Kanji tables on various websites, but haven’t found anything conclusive. The closest I could get, and this is by no means certain, is that it might be a very stylized kane but I don’t have anywhere near enough experience to really say with any degree of certainty.

I’ve looked into databases of Koto smiths, and there are a line of swordmakers with the name Kanemoto, of the Akasaka school, who worked in the Mino province. Really though, the first Kanji I have does not match the first Kanji that I see for the Kanemoto name, so unless mine is very stylized I can’t really say this is it.

The image below shows a photo of the mei on the sword, and my drawing of it. It’s very hard to get a good photo that depicts the mei well enough to illustrate. I made my drawing using a point-source light at various angles to get all the details.

I know there’s a possibility it’s a fake, it could be a nonsense marking, but it could also be a legitimate marking, just poorly made. And really, it’s the mystery that makes it interesting.

Anyhow, if anybody can help me out with a translation or information on this mei, or that first Kanji, that would be most appreciated. I can be reached by email, my address is at the bottom of the page.

Wakizashi