For the second year in a row, Kishu Yuzu Umeshu (plum wine) has won the top gold medal at the 11th Concours International de Lyon (Lyon International Competition) held in France. Kishu Yuzu Umeshu is the first Japanese plum wine to win the top prize in the liqueur and spirits category for two consecutive years.
The Lyon International Competition is sponsored by Les Toques Blanches, an association of renowned French chefs representing the gastronomic city of Lyon, and the Lyon Sommelier Association. 9,261 brands from 43 countries entered this year's competition in three categories, including wine and beer.
Up until now, a mix of knowledgeable amateurs and professionals in the field at each table would do the blind tasting and give scores. However, this year, due to the effects of the new coronavirus infection, the selection was made over a period of three weeks by nine top-class sommeliers.
The Liquor and Spirits category was
created in 2015 and has been growing in terms of entries and alcoholic beverages each year. In 2021, 392 brands from 30 countries entered the competition in this category, of which 129 (71 Gold and 58 Silver) were awarded.
Koji Nakano, president of the company, said that this product, which contains domestic yuzu juice in the regular umeshu made with fresh Nanko plums from Kishu region in Wakayama, was the first product he had worked on, and that he was encouraged by the fact that it is still being appreciated more than 10 years after its launch in 2006.