Sake’s geographical indication, “GI Tone-Numata,” which consists of four sake breweries in the Tone-Numata area of Gunma Prefecture in Japan, requires that the breweries make the most of the local water and climate, and that the type of rice used as the raw material be one of the following: Yukihotaka, Gohyakumangoku, or Koshihikari. In addition, only yeast from the local area (Gunma KAZE yeast, Gunma G2 yeast, and brewer's house yeast) can be used, and vintage can be indicated under certain conditions, so only those that meet the extremely strict criteria are certified.
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7 types of GI Tone-Numata certified sake (Photo: Business Wire)
According to Mr. Shinya Tasaki, Chairman of the Japan Sommelier Association, "GI Tone-Numata is equivalent to PDO in Europe or AOC in French wine and is expected to attract worldwide attention in the future." On January 17, "GI Tone-Numata" sake as a set of 7 bottles will be released for sale in overseas markets.
The seven kinds of “GI Tone-Numata” sake commonly have a transparent, pale gold color, and an aroma that contains the note of freshly made rice cakes, fruit, almond jelly, green grass, and fresh greenery. The flavors are characterized by a refreshing acidity, a bitterness that brings richness, a mellow umami and sweetness derived from rice, and a clear impression.
These seven types of certified sake, from sparkling sake for the “kanpai,” to full-flavored sake for the main course, then sweet dessert sake at the end of the meal, can be paired with French cuisine course meals. They go well with ingredients that are difficult to pair with wine, such as fresh tomatoes and eggs.
4 breweries of GI Tone-Numata
Otone Sake Brewery http://www.sadaijin.co.jp/
NAGAI SAKE INC. http://www.nagai-sake.co.jp/en/
Tsuchida Sake Brewery Co., Ltd. https://tsuchidasake.jp/en/
Nagai-honke Inc. https://www.nagaihonke.co.jp/
- The lineup of GI Tone-Numata certified sake and (the examples of) recommended food parings
- MIZUBASHO Yukihotaka AWA SAKE (NAGAI SAKE INC.) and Caprese Salad and Fruit Tomatoes
- Shin Tsuchida GI Tone-Numata Koshihikari (Tsuchida Sake Brewery Co., Ltd.) and Cold Roasted Duck with orange sauce
- Sadaijin Koshihikari (Otone Sake Brewery) and Penne carbonara
- Shin Tsuchida GI Tone-Numata Yukihotaka (Tsuchida Sake Brewery Co., Ltd.) and Scallop Meuniere, Provencal
- MIZUBASHO Yukihotaka Junmai Daiginjo (NAGAI SAKE INC.) and Vichyssoise
- TONENISHIKI JUNMAI KOSHIHIKARI 90 (Nagai-honke Inc.) and Akagi Chicken Fricassee with steamed vegetables
- MIZUBASHO Yukihotaka Dessert Sake (NAGAI SAKE INC.) and Strawberry Shortcake
For more information about each certified sake, please click here:
Contact information for purchase:
NAGAI SAKE INC. (English available)
“Seek the Story of Sake” e-commerce site (shipping only to Singapore and Hong Kong)
Video highlights of the “GI Tone-Numata Online Symposium” held in November 2021
Video of Sommelier Shinya Tasaki's visit to Tone-Numata
GI Tone-Numata Council
Public Relations: Tomoko Takiguchi