I have no stats as to how many (how few) Japanese expats became winemakers in France.
While sharing Some of my Picks for Saveur Best Blog Awards 2011, I saw that Bertrand Celce of Wine Terroirs (my choice in wine blogs) did a feature on Hitotake Ooka based in Saint-Peray (Northern Rhone).
I guess it piqued my curiosity even more because I was at Hospice du Rhone 2011 in Paso Robles at the time I wrote the piece.
Hitotake Ooka was not there unfortunately and I have not had the chance to taste his wines yet.
His approach to wine making is as natural as possible including pressing the grapes by foot.
The 35 year old Hitotake Ooka arrived in France in 1997. His wines can be found under the Domaine de la Grande Colline label.
Up to 70% of his production is exported to Japan which has shown a big appetite for natural wines.
He learned his wine making chops from Jean-Louis Grippat before flying solo.
In 2009, Le Blog d'Olif (French site) called his Cotes du Rhone Red (100% Grenache), the G wine, orgasmic.
If you visit the area, Bertrand points to La Cachette restaurant in Valence run by another Japanese expat, chef Masachi Ijichi as one place where Hirotake Ooka's wines are on the list.
I noticed Oursin ('Sea Urchin') as one of the dishes offered at La Cachette.
If you visit Paris, Bertrand writes that Saturne a wine bar/ restaurant carries Domaine de la Grande Colline.
While the wines besides Japan are available in Belgium and Quebec.I don't see any mention of the U.S.
Feet in the Grapes for Tokyo Thursdays # 189
(* Photo of Hiratake Ooka in his underground cellar in Saint Peray courtesy of Bertrand Celce, all rights reserved)