Graphene-based carbon materials such as fullerenes, carbon nanotubes, and graphenes have distinct and unique electronic properties that depend on their dimensionality and geometric structures. Graphene wrinkles with pseudo one-dimensional structures have been observed in a graphene sheet. However, their one-dimensional electronic properties have never been observed because of their large widths. Here we report the unique electronic structure of graphene nanowrinkles in a graphene sheet grown on Ni(111), the width of which was small enough to cause one-dimensional electron confinement. Use of spatially resolved, scanning tunnelling spectroscopy revealed bandgap opening and a one-dimensional van Hove singularity in the graphene nanowrinkles, as well as the chemical potential distribution across the graphene nanowrinkles. This observation allows us to realize a metallic-semiconducting-metallic junction in a single graphene sheet. Our demonstration of one-dimensional electron confinement in graphene provides the novel possibility of controlling its electronic properties not by chemical modification but by ‘mechanical structuring’.