Sake Experience Japan recently interviewed Kanzawagawa Sake Brewery CEO, Mr. Mochiduki, who is also head of the Shizuoka Sake Association. Kanzawagawa Sake Brewery was founded in 1912 as a forestry industry and silk manufacturer. However they took the view that sake would have more potential as a sustainable business in the long term so established the brewery at Yui because of the easy access to the pure water of the Kanzawagawa (Kanzawa River), hence the business name.Kanzawagawa Sake Brewery’s current toji, Mr. Yamakage, is a member of one of the most famous toji guilds (Nanbu-toji) and is appointed a“Contemporary Master Craftsman” by the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare of Japan because of his exceptional skill.
In Shizuoka, there is a well-known saying that “sake production starts and ends with rice-washing” demonstrating the importance of washing the rice in the Shizuoka style of sake production and Kanzawagawa Sake Brewery is no exception. They divide the 30kg bag of rice into 5kg portions and wash each three times (twice by the Shizuoka-developed Aoshima washing machine). Even though washing the rice is very important, there is a risk of cracking the rice grain or reducing umami through over-washing, so this procedure is monitored closely. Mr. Mochiduki told us that the ability to balance the washing is only developed after long experience.