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Sake brewery visit: Takeuchi Shuzo in Gifu prefecture

Aug. 31. 2023
by Yuki Imanishi

We Sake Lovers went to Takeuchi Shuzo tour on Aug 2023.

Takeuchi Shuzo (Takeuchi sake brewery) in Ogaki city Gifu

Takeuchi Shuzo is Located 10 minutes walk from Ogaki Station. Ogaki city is known as Water city for beautiful water – has clean and abundant underground water, making it a suitable location for sake brewing.

Founded in 1744 (1st year of Enkyo), it is said that the brewery opened near Ogaki Castle in the middle of the Edo period, and began producing sake such as the brewery’s founding brand '兄花 Anika’.

Thanks to the president Mr.Takeuchi who gave us a sake tour.

Mr Takeuchi, the president of Takeuchii Sake Brewery explaining us the founding time.
Sake lineup at Takeuchi
Beautiful garden inside the brewery

The brewery say that they focus on rice, water, and the brewer.

Mr Takeuchi showing us around

Rice has such an important influence on the taste of sake so that it is said that the sake production begins with rice cultivation.

Brewers pay the most attention to the raw condition of rice, as it affects the taste, aroma, sake itself, and color of the sake.
The rice used to make sake can be broadly divided into table rice and sake rice, and Takeuchi uses both.

一般米 General rice
It contains abundant nutrients, sake to have a complex taste.
The general rice used at Takeuchi Shuzo is only produced in Gifu Prefecture, and they produce Junmai Sake, Honjozo Sake, and Regular Sake.

Sake rice
Sake rice is rice specifically used for sake brewing.
Sake rice is excellent in making koji, saccharification, and creating aromas, and has the characteristics of producing high-quality sake.
At Takeuchi Shuzo, they use a wide variety of sake rice carefully selected from all over Japan, including Yamada Nishiki, Omachi, and Gifu Prefecture’s Hidahomare rice, which is suitable for sake brewing Junmai Daiginjo, Junmai Ginjo etc.

Ogaki City is located in one of the most prominent artesian belts in the country, and has been called the City of Water due to its abundance of underground water.
Even today, as urbanization progresses, artesian wells can be found in various parts of the city.
At the manufacturing warehouse located in the city, high-quality medium-soft water with a hardness of about 50mg that maintains a temperature of 14 to 15 degrees Celsius throughout the year is pumped from 50 meters underground.

It is known that the taste of sake changes depending on the hardness of the water.
Their sake is brewed with medium-soft water and has a soft and smooth taste.

The chief Toji is Yukiichi Nakajima. What he said is below:

Sake brewing is an extremely delicate and complex process that requires advanced skill.

In recent years, advances in brewing equipment have made it possible to precisely control temperature, humidity, and fermentation conditions, but he believes that this does not mean that the knowledge and experience of the brewer, the chief brewer, is no longer needed.

For example, dealing with rice quality, which changes every year, is one of the factors where past experience is put to good use.
At Takeuchi Shuzo, they incorporate new techniques while respecting tradition, and strive to create sake that will remain in the memories of everyone they meet.

Thanks to sharing the secret to make great sake.

We enjoyed many tastings and all the members were very satisfied.

Sake tastings

Thank you to all the warm greetings!

With members who visited the brewery