Tamakashiwa Brand Sake Wins Top Prize in France

Jiji Press
Tamakashiwa Junmai Daiginjo sake, right, and Aokage shochu are seen in Paris on Monday.

PARIS (Jiji Press) — Tamakashiwa Junmai Daiginjo, a Japanese sake brand of Yamada Shoten in Gifu Prefecture won the top President’s prize in the sake category of the 2023 Kura Master competition in France on Monday.

The top prize in the category of honkaku-shochu and awamori spirits of the same competition, whose award ceremony was held in Paris the same day, went to Aokage of Yanagita Distillery Co. in Miyazaki Prefecture.

The annual competition of Japanese sake, shochu and awamori brands targeting French consumers started in 2017.

In this year’s competition, judges from the French restaurant industry evaluated 1,090 brands of Japanese sake and 187 brands of shochu or awamori.

“We kept aiming [for the top prize] every year, and at last, our wish came true,” said Kazuhiko Yamada, senior managing director of Yamada Shoten.

Tadashi Yanagita, head of Yanagita Distillery, said: “Shochu is still not well known in France. We want to improve our skills so that shochu will someday represent the world’s distilled liquor.”