Welcome to Issue 58 of Sake Industry News.
We trust you all enjoyed Valentine's Day with the one you love most - sake!
We may be heading into the home stretch of the brewing season, but there's still plenty left to do and oh-so-much sake to come. The frustration of reduced business hours for the bars and restaurants continue to be felt by retailers, on-premise proprietors and consumers alike, but it's not over yet. However, with recent announcements from the government regarding (ever so slight) loosening of border restrictions, it may only be a matter of time before not only the locals, but overseas sake fans can get back into their favorite sake haunts all over Japan. Fingers crossed.
And now for the news...
Nihonshu Recognized On The South America Stage
Chile- Sake has continued to extend its reach into the international market, with its debut in the Catad’Or wine competition, the most prestigious wine competition in Latin America. Held in November 2021, this year saw the first year sake was included in this 27th year of the highly influential competition.
Thirteen breweries submitted sake to compete for Great Gold (Gran Oro), Gold (Oro), and Silver (Plata). The top, Major Sake award, went to Ginjōshu Sato no Homare kimoto junmai from Sudō Honke, Ibaraki Prefecture.
Great Gold winners:
Yoshida Shuzō (Shimane) Gassan tokubetsu junmai Izumo
Uchigasaki Shuzōten (Miyagi) Houyō tokubetsu junmaishu Genji
Imada Shuzō Honten (Hiroshima) Fukucho Hattansō junmai daiginjō
Kaetsu Shuzō (Niigata) Kanbara junmai ginjō Bride of the Fox
Source - Sakagura Press
JG: After 27 years, this influential competition in a region in which it has not yet made many inroads includes sake; this is significant for sure.
須藤本家 生酛純米吟醸酒 郷の誉 , 吉田酒造 月山 特別純米 出雲 , 内ヶ崎酒造店 鳳陽 特別純米 源氏 , 今田酒造本店 富久長 八反草 純米大吟醸 , 下越酒造 蒲原 純米吟醸 Bride of the Fox
The Best Yamada Nishiki (a lot of) Money Can Buy
Yamaguchi- Asahi Shuzō announced last month the winner of its annual Yamada Nishiki Project: Beyond The Best.
This year's winning rice came from Takada Nōsan in Okayama Prefecture. Hyogo Prefecture was, yet again "always the bridesmaid, never the bride", coming in second place represented by Fujita Seimaindo. Hyogo Prefecture has traditionally been regarded as the home of the best Yamada Nishiki in the country, however for the third year in a row farmers have been unable to snag first place.
Takada Nōsan's rice was recognized among thirty-nine entries from seven prefectures. After being purchased by Asahi Shuzō for the princely sum of 30 million yen (USD270K) the rice will be used to brew a special release sake in the coming year.
JG: It is great to see that Asahi Shuzō is keeping up with this rather than doing it only once or twice. I am sure they see the benefits, and it seems win-win to me.
旭酒造 , 高田農産 , フジタ精米人
More New Sake For Hokkaido
Hokkaido- Kamikawa Taisetsu Shuzō is set to release its first batch of sake from its newest enterprise, Goryō no Kura.
Goryō no Kura is the third brewery for Kamikawa Taisetsu Shuzō following Ryokkyū Gura in Kamikawa and Heiun Gura in Obihiro City. Construction of the two-story, wooden brewing facility boasting eight 1500 liter tanks was completed in November 2021. Tōji, Shinji Kawabata used Hokkaido sake rice, Suisei to produce what is now the first sake made in Hakodate in 54 years.