月別アーカイブ: 2019年9月

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Yuki no Bosha – Sake with the Most Natural Brewing Process

Brewery Introduction

Saiya is a sake brewery based in Akita, northern Japan. Founded in 1903, the Saiya Brewery is one of the most award-winning breweries at the Japanese National Sake Competition. In the past fifteen years of the competition, the brewery has won an astonishing ten gold medals. Mr. Toichi Takahashi, their brew master, has been recognized by the Emperor of Japan as a cherished craftsman. Mr Takahashi has been the brewer master since 1984 and is inarguably the main deviser of Saiya Brewey. He believes in using all local ingredients and does not like to interfere much with the brewing process.

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The brewery has always put a strong focus on using their own in-house yeast and milling rice properly. It was also the first brewery in Akita prefecture to culture its own yeast. By isolating and re-culturing the healthy and hardworking yeast out of moromi (fermenting mash) tanks, the master brewer has discovered a strain of yeast that can survive under a strenuous environment of low temperature and higher alcohol content as the fermentation progresses in the tank.

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Their sake doesn’t take on a strong aroma, instead it has a strong aftertaste known as fukumi. To achieve this, it takes carefully calculated time and requires brewing at low temperatures without exposure to air. This way the aroma of the yeast blends beautifully into sake.

The brewery also does not perform kai-ire (mixing the fermentation mash). According to the brew master, Saiya does not aim to make a particular type of sake; their sake is born naturally with rice, water, and environment that is used for its making. Therefore, the typical sake maker’s kai-ire (mixing the fermentation mash with long wooden stick) would never happen at Saiya Shuzo, because the natural convection from the fermentation will mix the mash perfectly without human hands.

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Saiya Brewery is the first ASAC-approved (an accredited organic certification body in Japan) organic brewery in Japan. The brewery is kept spotlessly clean and is free of chemical disinfectants, which allows the significant inclusion of every living organism in the brewing process. Coupled with Saiya’s unique brewing process, this certification further elevates the brewery’s acclaimed status as a producer of outstanding sake.

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Recommend sake

Yuki No Bosha is the most well-known brand from Saiya Brewery. It is known for its pronounced aroma, silky and balanced body, clean acidity, and rich umami. It has won the Gold Medal at the Annual New Sake Competition more than anyone else in Akita. Yuki No Bosha which literally means “Cabin in the Snow,” is a celebration of the northern, Akita region of Japan. Rustic, rugged and rural Akita prefecture is cherished by the Japanese for its lively festivals, tranquil winter and delicious sake.

Yukinobousha Junmai Ginjo is one of the best products from this brewey. It has beautiful fruity Ginjo fragrance. It is very clean and subtle on your palate with a slightly dry finish. This is the perfect sake if you are seeking the quality fruity Junmai Ginjo.

Bottled without an addition of water, and without filtration with charcoal/micro-paper, Yuki No Bosha sake has a rich and bold flavor, laden with pleasant acidity. It is a superb sake that has ripe fruit tones including strawberries and mangos that dance in a silky and clean flow. The softness of this Junmai Ginjo and the vivid acidity are muted by a fruitiness without being sweet. A tremendous treat for those looking for a fruity experience but don’t want too sweet!

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September 8th is Spanish Wine Day in Japan!

September 8th is Spanish Wine Day in Japan!

Vines have been cultivated in Spain for thousands of years; long before the Romans conquered the country they called Hispania. Today Spain is the third largest producer of wines in the world after Italy and France, and the largest grower of vines by area. It is also the country using the largest number of native varieties, said to be over 400. For a long time Spain produced simple, strong and alcoholic bulk wines meant for early and local consumption. However, when French wine makers arrived in Spain in the 19th century, their expertise and knowledge improved the quality of Spanish wines.

Spain established their Denominación de Origen (D.O.) wine system on September 8 in 1932, and it has been updated several times to reflect improved quality. The Spanish Wine Statue (Estatuto del Wino) was adopted for protection of the designations of origin for wines. The Wine Statue indicates that not only the place where particular wine was produced, but also the special quality of that wine.

After Chile, France and Italy, Spain is the fourth-largest wine supplier to Japan. With a growing number of Spanish bars and restaurants opening in Tokyo and other cities, more Spanish wine is being consumed in Japan and it is gaining a lot of popularity recently.

Due to the growing popularity, Spanish Wine Day was established as an anniversary by the Spanish Wine Association in Japan, which is an organization that regularly promotes Spanish wine. The Spanish Wine Festival is held on Sunday around September 8 every year to commemorate the establishment of The Spanish Wine Statue, and to convey the appeal of Spanish wine and raise its recognition.

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Rioja – a wine region in Spain

 

How Is Japanese Wine Different?

Japan is located between 30 to 50 degrees north latitude, the same latitude as world famous wine regions France, Germany, Italy, Spain and California. However, Japan’s climate is almost not suitable for growing wine grapes because of the intense seasonal change, and the high amount of rainfall/precipitation.

But there’s one place in Japan that wine grapes can thrive and that is Koshu region in Yamanashi prefecture. Koshu region is surrounded by 4 tall mountains ranging over 6,560 ft, which minimize the weather influence from nearby Asian continent, producing areas with pleasant sunny weather and low rainfall/precipitation.

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Koshu vineyards surrounded by breathtaking mountains

 

Koshu wine is made from pink coloured grape, grown in the foothills of Mount Fuji, and its subtle, nuanced, fresh flavours pair with a whole range of dishes, not only the Japanese food but Western cuisine as well. It has fresh but rounded acidity, and several aromatic compounds in common with Sauvignon Blanc. The most familiar Koshu style is an ultra-delicate, subtle dry white with a sleek texture.

The recommended wine is Chanmoris Koshu Wine Shiro Yamanashikensan uses 100% of grapes from Yamanashi prefecture in Japan. It is a slightly dry white wine characterized by a refreshing smell and clean taste.

We recommend comparing Spanish Wine with Koshu Wine on September 8th to see which one you like better!

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