Aged like fine wine? Reviving the forgotten culture of vintage sake

aged like fine wine reviving the forgotten culture of vintage sake

Fine wine is not the only thing that gets better with age, and a venture firm hopes to prove that by reviving the long-forgotten culture of Japan’s homegrown vintage sake.

Since launching Takumi Sousei Inc., Akihiko Yasumura has contacted over 1,000 breweries across Japan and visited more than 100 to select the best aged sake to rebrand under the high-end Inishie no Bishu label.

“It’s the same as scouting star talent, you’re discovering some potential that has been lying dormant, and you’re selling it by changing the way you present it,” said Yasumura.

As a former career consultant at major Japanese staffing firm Pasona Inc., Yasumura had encountered many artisans who had to give up their passion in order to earn a living. Feeling it was a waste of talent, the 41-year-old began thinking of ways to enable those people to continue chasing their dreams.

Takumi Sousei was initially established in 2017 with a focus on supporting artisans working in traditional Japanese arts and crafts, but by the end of 2018 the company pivoted to the vintage sake industry, which was seen to have more growth potential.

Vintage sake, which is known as koshu in Japanese and comes in a range of complex flavors and aromas, does not have an exact definition but generally refers to any Japanese distilled spirits that have been aged over a year…

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