Issue 12: From the Editor

Late last month, the sake of Yamagata Prefecture was officially granted GI (Geographical Indication) status by the National Tax Administration. This means that they have secured the right to call their sake “Yamagata” sake, and that no one else can do that. This is similar in letter and spirit to putting the term “champagne” on the bottle. In truth, while historically many sparkling wine producers outside of Champagne, France wanted to–and did–use the region’s name on the bottle, it is unlikely that any sake brewer…

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Sake in 2016: by the numbers

Export numbers for Japanese sake in 2016 extend a trend from the last few years, namely robust growth in demand for premium brands overseas. According to data released in late January from Japan’s Ministry of Finance, exports of Japanese sake reached 15.5 billion yen, the 7th year in a row of record numbers. Experts believe it is tied to overall growth in the popularity of Japanese food and Japanese restaurants overseas (exports of Japanese green tea saw massive growth as well). An earlier report measuring…

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