Gunma is a land-locked prefecture, known in Japan for its unspoiled beauty, strong agricultural traditions, snowy mountains, pure water, hot springs, and Wagyu beef. Sake production here is characterised by small sake breweries with diverse approaches and styles. While all breweries sell directly to many of Tokyo’s top restaurants, and via their “cellar door”, exports to the UK are in their infancy.
Gunma Craft Sake is an initiative by JETRO to support the promotion and export of sake producers from the prefecture. Following a successful virtual launch last year, Gunma Craft Sake returns with a blended in-person and virtual masterclass on March 8th.
We start with a masterclass of 6 sake hosted by sake expert Christine Parkinson and Master of Wine Sarah Abbott. The brewers will join via live link from Japan. Following the masterclass, we will taste a further 6 sake with lunch. We have selected Sachi Restaurant in Pantechnicon as the venue for this event: Sachi is inspired by regional Japanese cooking and celebrates Japanese food, culture and craft.
The six breweries showing their sake are:
One aspect of this masterclass is the new Geographical Indication of Tone Numata sake, currently produced by 3 of the 6 breweries. This new protected designation of origin has been won by a group of Gunma sake breweries who have championed a ‘terroir sake’ concept. The Tone Numata GI specifies the unique sake made by the breweries using local rice varieties, yeast strains and unadulterated local water.
This event is hosted by Swirl & Market, part of Swirl Wine Group on behalf of the Jetro Gunma Craft Sake.