My feelings while traveling in France
When I was 33 years old, Mayumi and I took a two-week trip to France. We were ready to sell our ski lodge and when the jam business started to take off, we decided to take the plunge and go to France, since we hadn’t gone on our honeymoon. At the same time, I was hoping that it would become a point of reference for my future jam business. At the time, we had no production facility or anything, but we were beginning to think about making that a reality.
On this trip, we took the chance to leave Paris behind and traveled around the French countryside by high-speed train and rental car, mainly to the Calvados region, Bourgogne, and Bordeaux, where apples are grown. In the Calvados region, which is also an apple-producing region like Nagano, the beautiful pastoral scenery reminded me of Shinshu (Nagano Prefecture), and there were small cideries and Calvados (apple distillery) distilleries and farms scattered among the apple orchards.
There were cows in the apple orchards. In Bourgogne, we visited the village of Vosne-Romanée, the beautiful vineyards and domains (small vineyards) and enjoyed tasting the wines. In Bordeaux, we were impressed by the magnificent and artistic mansions of the manor-like châteaux, and the gardens and vineyards with magnificent landscape design.
We stayed at the Chateau Hotel, an elegant mansion renovated into a hotel, and enjoyed the rich, aristocratic countryside as if we were back in the medieval world. It was refreshing to see how the staff in the restaurant and hotel took pride in their service.
I was moved by the French countryside… the mature beauty and richness, the nobility of the spirit of the great region and the people who work and live there. I was strongly impressed wuth the country gentlemen who live there with pride and conviction.
This excitement would eventually lead to St. Cousair
After 20 years, I believe that these impressions have come to fruition in the present St. Cousair. I believe that my desire “to make the countryside where we live in a mature and wonderful place” won the sympathy of my employees and many others, and led to the creation of our beautiful winery, vineyard, restaurant and garden in the town of Iizuna. In the process, we have faced many trials and tribulations because our ideals and aspirations were too high and too big. These challenges strengthened us, and it eventually resulted in us finding God, our Creator.
We have also had many wonderful encounters and thanks from customers, supportive local people, and business partners. The small church we visited in the French countryside has now been realized as the St. Cousair Chapel on a hill in Iizuna, and the Christian culture that built not only the structure but also the greatness of Europe has begun to take root firmly in our hearts and spirits.
“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit.” This Biblical passage has now become the company song of St. Cousair. In order to walk the right path, we wanted to firmly put into practice our “Company Philosophy based on the spirit of the Bible” and continue to move forward toward our vision for the future.
I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit. Rom.
And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.