Shata Shozo is located in Ishikawa Prefecture’s Hakusan. The brewery holds Tengumai, the brand that represents Hokuriku Region. The brewery has a history that starts from the 6th year of Bunsei Era (1823) and the current president and eighth generation of Shata Shuzo, Kazunari Shata has a unique carrier of originally working as a banker. I had been keeping contact with him since 2006 when I started the activity of Sake Samurai. The brewery has long worked on ways to promote the characteristics of Tengumai to the world.
While using the spring water from Mount Haku and the high-quality sake rice nurtured in Kaga plain, Shata Shuzo brews several varieties of sake by the Yamahai method, a method which uses a traditional yeast starter. This method is one of the difficult methods in sake brewing. In the 1960’s, a Yamahai method that is original to Tengumai was developed through the brave challenges by the 7th generation, Toshiro Shata and the Noto-Toji (Noto Region’s Master brewer), Saburo Naka. They continued their research and eventually Saburo Naka was awarded the title of Contemporary Master Craftsman by the Japanese government.
“Tengumai Junmai-Daiginjo 50” 720ml 1,700 Yen (Tax Excluded)
The main characteristic of Tengumai is its yamabuki (golden yellow) color which comes from its original process of cultivating more koji yeast compared to the other breweries. In the case of Tengumai, the yamabuki color will appear in the sake even if it is right after the pressing process of the rice. In most breweries, the color is removed by using activated carbon but Tengumai intentionally keeps its natural color and cherishes its yamabuki color.
The Tengumai website lists information on food pairing for each of their sake. While wines have basic pairings such as oysters and chablis wines, sake can be paired with oysters, caviars and karasumi (dried mullet roe). In fact, sake is capable to pair with a wider range of flavors compared to wine. The current image of sake completely changes when drinking a beautifully paired sake after thinking about which food to pair it with. President Shata have succeeded by promoting sake as a premium beverage other than wine that can be paired with gourmet food. Tengumai is a change maker of sake that will change the current image of sake.
(Toshie Hiraide Speaking)
The former banker, eighth generation and president of Shata Shuzo, Kazunari Shata have actively promoted sake to the world through sake samurai activities and International Wine Challenge.
Toshie Hiraide’s Recommended Selection of Two Tengumai Sakes
Tengumai Yamahai-Jikomi Junmaishu
A sake brewed with Yamahai method that represents the characteristic of Tengumai. “This sake is an all-rounder. It can be paired with sashimi, fried fish, pot dishes, and other Japanese culinary dishes, while It can also be paired with Western dishes such as steaks”
Sake Type: Junmai-shu
Rice Variety: Shuzo-Kotekimai (Rice suitable for sake brewing) of Gohyakumangoku and others
Rice Polishing Ratio: 60% (All of the rice are polished at the brewery)
Sake Meter Value: +3
720ml 1,400 Yen (Tax Excluded)
Tengumai Junmai-Dainginjo 50
This sake is a lighter type within the Tengumai series. “The sake has a beautiful acidity and a light umami taste. I will recommend cooling the sake before drinking and to use a wine glass. Though the sake is a daiginjyo, the aroma is gentle which makes it easier to pair with meals”
Sake Type: Junmai-Daiginjyo
Rice Variety: Yamada-Nishiki
Rice Polishing Ratio: 50% (All of the rice are polished at the brewery)
Sake Meter Value: +3
720ml 1,700 Yen (Tax Excluded)
Shata Shuzo Co., Ltd
60-1 Bomarumachi, Hakusan city, Ishikawa
Born in 1962. President of Co-op Sachi Ltd. a company aiming for the internationalization of sake and inviting overseas guests to the countryside of Japan. Sake Samurai Coordinator. IWC Ambassador. Shoryudo Ambassador (Inbound Ambassador for the 9 Prefectures of Chubu Region and Hokuriku Region).
Taking Pride in Sake Brewing. A S…