IWC 2016 Champion Sake Announcement

7th July at IWC Awards Dinner

‘To protect sake culture and to promote sake internationally’ … in order to realise this mission, the Sake Samurai Association collaborated with the International Wine Challenge (IWC) ten years ago, and has since grown to become the world’s largest and most prestigious sake competition.

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IWC Award Winning Sake Seminar & Tasting

8th July 2016  Embassy of Japan

Following the excitement of the awards dinner, the proud champion and shortlisted trophy sake makers gathered at the embassy of Japan to showcase a selection of premium sake to trade, media and friends of Sake Samurai. The afternoon began with a seminar section, followed by brief presentations from nine of the award winning sake makers.  Each sake maker passionately and charmingly introduced their sake brewery and philosophy, as well as the story of the winning sake itself.

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Sake Academy at Oxford University – Educating Future Global Leaders

It goes without saying that future global leaders require a world class education. At Oxford, the cradle of many of the world’s visionaries past and present, this “world class education” evolved in 2014 to include Sake 101, with the launch of the Sake Academy initiative. Led by Sake Expert Rie Yoshitake, Sake Academy aimed to introduce Japan’s national beverage to bright young minds at university campuses across the world. The Oxford chapter was launched at the St John’s College Triennial May Ball, in true Oxford style.

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IWC 2016 Sake judging and award announcement in Hyogo

May 2016

The 2016 International Wine Challenge sake competition celebrates its 10-year collaboration between the Sake Samurai Association and the IWC. This robust and fruitful relationship has supported the global expansion of sake, by both boosting international awareness and exports, as well as increasing the popularity of sake within Japan itself.

The memorable competition was generously hosted this year by Hyogo Prefecture, the home of Yamada Nishiki rice which boasts the largest Sake production in Japan. The number of IWC sake entries this year came to a record-breaking 1282, which was recorded as the largest sake competition in the world. A prestigious panel of 57 international sake judges from 14 countries conducted an intensive blind tasting over a 3 day period.

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Great hospitality of Hyogo prefecture during IWC 2016 Sake judging

The 2016 International Wine Challenge (IWC) sake competition in Hyogo was a great success thanks to the Hyogo prefecture’s gracious hospitality. They made our stay so special and all of our judges, Sake Samurai and IWC staff had an unforgettable time there.

One great experience in particular was the rice planting excursion. As the home of Yamadanishiki rice, Hyogo organised a tour to the local rice field and the participants had an opportunity to plant the rice seedling by their own hands. It is extremely interesting to see first-hand how the sake’s vital ingredient is grown as well as appreciating the high maintenance involved with plant rice.

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Japan Day at Cambridge University

29th May 2016

“This is the first time I’ve had authentic Sake…I’ve never thought of Sake as a tasty drink!”, one of the attendees of Cambridge Japan Day 2016 excitedly told us, as they perused the variety of Sake on offer.

Cambridge Japan Day was started in 2015 by a team of Japanese MBA students studying at Judge Business School, with the purpose of promoting Japanese culture (“Cool Japan”) to students from all over the world. With the support of Sake Samurai UK and Tazaki Foods UK, they were able to host their second Japan Day this year with great success.

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“Sake no Tomo”, Friend of Sake

at IESE Barcelona

For years, sake has been casting its spell far beyond the borders of its homeland. More and more, epicures from across Europe are expressing a curiousity to learn more about a drink they had always associated with hangovers. In an effort to nurture Europe’s developing sake market, the Sake Samurai Association (SSA) launched a Sake Roadshow initiative across the UK and mainland Europe, in order to educate and spread the passion for Nihonshu. On 13th April 2015, the IESE Business School in Barcelona in partnership with the Japanese Consulate, Sake Samurai UK, and Comerjapones.com hosted the Spanish chapter of the Sake event which Academy initiative.

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Fukushima: Sake Wonderland

“Something elegant, never boring, something that you feel like drinking again and again…”

As Fukushima Sake swept the board at the 2015 IWC Sake Championships, it became evident that something extraordinary was afoot. Just how was it possible for a single prefecture to produce such a variety of world class Sake? Rie Yoshitake, UK Sake Samurai Representative and Hitomi Kumasaka, Social Media Specialist, made a pilgrimage to the prefecture and visited four of the most prestigious breweries, Daishichi, Yamatogawa, Suehiro and Aizu Homare, to uncover the “Fukushima Formula” for trophy sake.

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