Yamagata Prefecture received the National Tax Agency's Sake "GI" designation on a prefecture basis for the first time in Japan.Yukimegami, which can be said to be the culmination of Yamagata sake rice varieties, can produce a smooth, clean and refreshing taste.
What is GI?
The designation "GI" represents the Geographical Indication protection system that registers geographical names themselves as intellectual properties and protects them, connecting characteristics of traditional production methods and producing areas, including weather, climate, and soil, to those of the quality of products and social evaluation. It is like Champagne and Bordeaux in wine.
Mild clean taste
Yamagata Prefecture has the climate of the Japan Sea and a lot of snowfall in winter, which can create excellent groundwater characteristics of mountains or a mountain system. The water quality is cool and clear soft water with little iron, suitable for sake brewing. Since this water is used as preparation water, Yamagata's sake has a mild and clean taste. It is extremely cold in winter, which suppresses reproduction of bacteria and is suitable for low-temperature long-term fermentation, so production of Ginjoshu is prosperous in Yamagata.
Yamagata sake respected throughout the world
According to the results of the U.S. National Sake Appraisal in 2017, the gold or silver prize-winning rate of Yamagata's sake was 68.5%, which was ranked 1st in Japan. Moreover, the number of gold prizes won by Yamagata's sake was the largest for 10 consecutive years. Furthermore, in the SAKE category of the International Wine Challenge (IWC), which is the world's biggest wine fair, sake breweries in Yamagata Prefecture have won 30 gold prizes over 11 years, and the number of gold medals has been ranked 1st in Japan for four consecutive years.
Tasting assortment set
List of participant breweries
Introduction to breweries
Dewazakura Sake Brewery
This brewery makes much of sake brewing such that you can feel the warmth of human hands through the manual brewing technique of kurabito (brewers). We always strive to deliver finely and carefully brewed sake to customers while maintaining the quality. About 70% of our shipments are Ginjoshu, and we are also well known as the brewery that spread ginjoshu at home and abroad to become a pioneer of the Ginjoshu boom. We started exporting in 1997, and have fans in about 35 countries around the world. We aim to brew sake which can always be loved everywhere in the world outside of Yamagata.
|Company name||Dewazakura Sake Brewery Co., Ltd.|
2016: Junmaishu Dewanosato won the top prize Champion Sake in the SAKE category, the International Wine Challenge 2016. Dewazakura Ichiro (Junmai Daiginjo) also won the top prize Champion Sake in the SAKE category, the International Wine Challenge
2008.This means that the same brewery was the first in the competition's history to win the world's top prize twice.
2021: The sparkling sake Dewazakura AWA SAKE won the gold prize in the Feminalise World Wine Competition in France. Domestic: This brewery has won the gold prize for 12 consecutive years in the Annual Japan Sake Awards.
Making the most of human sensibility though modern conveniences, this brewery brews quality sake in harmony with microorganisms, using the wisdom and techniques of kurabito (brewers) as well as the goodness of rice and water grown by the rich natural environment. The company name "Rokkasen" comes from "Rokkajin" or the six waka poets in the Heian period. Like their waka poems, we will continue to brew sake so clean that it touches people's hearts gently and to work on sake's infinite possibilities. It's all to deliver pleasure and good taste to customers.
|Company name||ROKKASEN CO., LTD.|
|Address||3-17-7 Onsen-machi, Higashine-shi, Yamagata|
|Founded||January 27, 1972|
International Wine Challenge
Gold prize in the Annual Japan Sake Awards, gold prize in the U.S. National Sake Appraisal, the top gold prize in the Fine Sake Award, the top gold prize in the Kan Sake Award, etc.
Wada Sake Brewery
Since its establishment in 1797, this brewery has aimed to produce a small quantity of quality sake with the motto "To be a local sake brewery having a presence, though small, and loved by local people." Our sake brewing has continued for eight generations, and all the brewers have been from the local communities, and we represent Yamagata using homegrown water, rice and kurabito (brewers) only. We also receive high evaluations in awards and contests at home and overseas. Based on traditional brewing techniques, we are working on new brewing methods as well.
|Company name||Wada Sake Brewery Limited Partnership Company|
|Address||17 Kahoku-cho Yachi-ko, Nishimurayama-gun, Yamagata|
|Representative||amon Wada (8th)|
2014: Grand Prize in the category of Daiginjo A, the U.S. National Sake Appraisal
・A total of 17 gold prizes in the Annual Japan Sake Awards since 1990
・2019: First prize in the category of Ginjoshu, the Tohoku Sake Awards
・2015: Top gold prize in the category of Good Value Warm Sake, the Kan Sake Award
・2016: Top gold prize in the category of Daiginjo, the Fine Sake Award
・2019: Top gold prize in the category of Good Value Hot Sake, the Kan Sake Award Others
Kinran Sake Brewery
This brewery, located in Yamagata Prefecture, brews sake that does not stand out too much or taste intrusive but casually brings out the deliciousness of dishes. Our motto is to brew sake "being there for people's lives" by kicking table talk into gear, promoting appetite, making a good time happier, or making a hard time easier. We have a history of about 250 years and have handed down the tradition of manually brewing a small quantity of quality sake.
|Company name||Kinran Sake Brewery Inc.|
|Address||732 Takahata-machi Motowada, Higashiokitama-gun, Yamagata|
This brewery was established along a mountain in southern Yamagata Prefecture around 1700 and has a history as the purveyor to the Uesugi clan of Yonezawa Domain. We have been working on brewing incorporating sake rice growing since 1983. We also actively produce new types of sake in addition to standard types, such as dry sparkling sake and pink-colored Junmaishu, though polished rice is used. Behind the brand name "Yonetsuru," there are two meanings of gratitude and happiness. This strong brand also has the achievements of being adopted for the in-flight sake offered by JAL and ANA.
|Company name||Yonetsuru Shuzo Co., Ltd.|
|Address||1076 Takahata-machi Niijuku, Higashiokitama-gun, Yamagata, 992-0301|
|Founded||Around 1700 (Genroku era)|
|Representative||Yoichiro Umetsu (12th head)|
International Wine Challenge One great value (for Yonetsuru Junsei), two area trophies (for Kakuho Junmai Daiginjo and Yonetsuru Sparkling Rosé), and three gold prizes (for Marumasu Yonetsuru Gentei Junmai Ginjo, Kakuho Junmai Daiginjo, and Yonetsuru Sparkling Rosé)
A total of 33 gold prizes in the Annual Japan Sake Awards, a total of 40 honor prizes in the Tohoku Sake Awards, two top gold prizes in the Fine Sake Award, and one top gold prize in the Kan Sake Award National Sake and Seasoning Fair, hosted by Tokyo University of Agriculture First diamond award from Yamagata Prefecture (1968) Ranked 37th of 659 breweries in the World Sake Brewery Ranking 2020 And more than 100 other prizes
This brewery produces pure Junmaishu. Committing ourselves to Junmaishu brewed using locally grown sake rice, we use only sake rice produced in Yamagata Prefecture except for some brewing tanks. We also recommend enjoying mature Junmaishu after warming it. The rice-producing region Shonai, Yamagata Prefecture, is known as the place of origin for the hard-to-get rice variety Kamenoo, which is one of the three major varieties of sake rice in Japan. We also put a lot of effort into brewing with Kamenoo. The young kurabito (brewers) with an average age of 37 brew sake with passion.
|Company name||KOIKAWA SHUZO CO., LTD.|
|Address||42 Shonai-machi Amarume Yono, Higashitagawa-gun, Yamagata|
|Representative||Kazuyoshi Sato (11th)|
Annual Japan Sake Awards: Gold prize in 2018, and prizes in 2019 and 2020 Junmai Daiginjo brewed with Yukimegami grown in Yamagata Prefecture won the prizes.
Watarai Honten Co., Ltd.
Dewanoyuki is a traditional sake with a 400-year history in Oyama, Tsuruoka City. The current, 18th generation, president is himself the master brewer. While incorporating both tradition and the latest technology, he is commited to keeping the concepts of "learning from the past" and "fluidity and immutability" at the heart of brewing beautiful regional sake.
|Company name||Watarai Honten Co., Ltd.|
|Address||2-2-8 Oyama, Tsuruoka City, Yamagata Prefecture|
|Founded||Genna era (1615-1624)|
Prizes include four consecutive Gold Medals at the annual Japan Sake Awards.
Furusawa Sake Brewery Co., Ltd.
Founded in the 7th year of the Tenpo era (1836) on the banks of the pristine Sagae River, overlooked by the snowy Mt. Zao and the Ou Mountains to the east and the sacred Mt. Tsukiyama and the Asahi Mountains to the west, sake brewing has been passed down in Sagae, blessed as it is with this climate. Based on the principle of "quality first," we manufacture sake, shochu (pot stills), and liqueurs. In particular, junmai sake. We focus on Ginjo sake.
|Company name||Furusawa Sake Brewery Co., Ltd.|
|Address||3-5-7 Marunouchi, Sagae City, Yamagata Prefecture|
|Founded||Tenpo 7 (1836)|
Gold Award, Second Grand Prix at the 2021 US National Sake Appraisal
Koya Brewing Co., Ltd.
"The sake brewery is believed to have been founded in the second year of the Bunroku period (1593). Having a relationship with the "honjin" (an inn for the official use of daimyo, or feudal lords), the brewery not only had connections with the Shinjo domain, but also other daimyo such as Sakai and Matsumine of the Shonai domain and Satake of the Akita domain drank our sake during changeovers in the "sankinkotai" (system which required daimyo to spend every other year in Edo). Also, in Okura Village is the 1200-year-old Hijiori Onsen, which has long prospered as a stopover for people climbing Mt. Gassan, and for centuries visitors have loved our sake. "
|Company name||Koya Brewing Co., Ltd.|
|Address||2591 Shimizu, Okura-mura, Mogami-gun, Yamagata Prefecture|
Gold Medal at the Japan Sake Awards, Honor Prize at the Tohoku Sake Awards, Bronze Medal in the Junmai Ginjo Category at the IWC