I had a visit from Hakkaisan Sake Brewery today. They came to promote their Junmai Ginjo sake and the new sparkling sake.
They are showcasing some of their products at the Noosa Food and Wine Show coming this weekend.
I had actually visited the Hakkaisan Sake Brewery in Niigata in August 2014 but not gotten around to publishing an article so here it is.
Perhaps a good destination for someone’s summer trip to Japan. The exeperience at Hakkaisan is eco-tourism at its best. There are direct purchasing kiosks, a beautiful traditional hay roofed soba hut and most recently they have created a feature attraction by recreating a traditional agribusiness custom in a commercial scale in the form of a huge yukimuro (snow room). This area is famous for its heavier than heavy snowfall and the farmers would collect snow and put insulation around it to create a ice box that would last all year until the next winter. They would stash their summer crop and sell their produce all season long.
Hakkaisan brewery has done this in an unheard of scale and erected an insulated warehouse with tons of snow and set up ageing tanks to store some sake which will be sold as vintage snow aged sake. The temperature is so stable and the beauty is that there is no vibration of motors/engines making the sake age with zero disturbance. You can also purchase shochu which they will store in the warmer part of the cellar for collection after a minimum 1 year period. The sleekly designed icebox architecture, cellar and shop is open for tours, tastings and the shop sells various aged vegetables, fish and meat. I tried the potato as the story was that the potato gets amazingly sweet due to it supposedly turns carbs into sugar during the hibernation to protect itself. It certainly was sweet! And I just can’t seem to resist the temptation of purchasing beautifully marbled snow aged wagyu. I couldn’t tell the difference in this one so much but it was yummy none the less.