Yoshinogawa

Yoshinogawa is the oldest saké brewery in Niigata Prefecture. This ancient brewery was founded in 1548 and retains many of its age-old practices while keeping focused on the changes in the world today. Master brewer Takahashi-san focuses his team’s efforts on crafting the finest saké. Together they draw from centuries-old knowledge and techniques to brew diverse styles that each reflect the lush, fertile agricultural region of Niigata.

Brewing Since 1548

Discover Yoshinogawa

Winter Warrior

Immediate enjoyment delivered by delightful tropical notes with melon, lightly floral aromatics, and a medium body that is refreshing and clean, with honeydew and lychee on the palate.

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Gokujo Ginjo

Delicate, dry and fragrant with a crisp, clean finish. Soft acidity and subtle complexity are noted before hints of anise, fresh herbs, and stone fruits like peach and nectarine. A lingering finish provides a silky, smooth mouthfeel.

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Gensen Karakuchi

Dry, clean and crisp with layers of subtle fruit flavors and hints of earth and water portraying its Niigata home

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Echigo Junmai

Lovely water notes express the rich agricultural region of Niigata while citrus and spice overtones give a glimpse into the brewer’s craft. A balance of savory and sweet marks this truly expressive yet subtle saké.

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Location

Nagaoka, Niigata Prefecture, Japan

Niigata Prefecture has a reputation for producing some of the best saké in Japan. A primary reason for this is that Niigata grows some of the best rice in the world. From table rice, all the way to saké-specific rice such as Gohyakumangoku or Koshi Tanrei, Niigata’s abundant and high-quality rice production is legendary, as is demonstrated in the saké from this beautiful prefecture.

Yoshinogawa not only makes exemplary use of Niigata’s delicious rice, it also brews with a very specific and delicate water. Tenka Kanrosen, which translates to “Sweet Water of Heaven and Earth,” is a spring water that combines streams of Japan’s largest river, the Shinano River, with melted snow from Niigata’s eastern mountain range. It is a soft water, yet rich in minerals that promote yeast growth. Since 1548 Yoshinogawa has been using this water to brew its clean and smooth tasting saké.

 
Yoshinogawa

History

Yoshinogawa was founded in 1548 and is the oldest brewery in Niigata prefecture (and one of the oldest in all of Japan). For almost half a millennium, Yoshinogawa is the pillar of Niigata’s distinct style of clean, crisp and elegant saké. Their motto remains the same: “to brew saké that makes you naturally reach for the next sip.”

One of the more recent testaments to Yoshinogawa’s resilience through its history was in 2004, when it survived the 6.8 magnitude Niigata Earthquake (Niigata Chuuetsu Shinsai). While fortunately no lives were lost, the earthquake destroyed more than 30,000 bottles worth of saké and significantly damaged the brewery. Using wooden beams to reinforce the structure, Yoshinogawa held steadfast and brewed in the damaged brewery until a new brewery, named Shinkou Kura, was built. This name honors the memory of the company’s late president.

 
Toji

Seiji Fujino

Mr. Fujino is at the helm of one of the oldest existing saké breweries in all of Japan, which is both a tremendous honor and a challenge. How do you carry on the long-standing tradition of Yoshinogawa’s saké brewing while embracing modern times? The answer comes in two distinct methods: 1. Mechanization, but not automation: while using new brewing technology to improve efficiency, Yoshinogawa’s Toji leaves the more meticulous and intricate part of saké brewing to be done by hand. 2. Stay true to saké that represents the spirit of Niigata’s iconic style: regardless of current fads or trends, stay classic, stay timeless.

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