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prefecture is located close to the centre of Japan’s main island Honshū. The area is long and narrow from north to south and has the Tanba highlands positioned roughly at its centre, dividing the climate of the region into two varieties - the JapanSea variety and the continental variety. Mukai Shuzō is located at the northern tip of Kyōto prefecture and is right on the coast of the Sea of Japan, in the picturesque fishing village of Ine. Most of the homes that are built along the water have been built so that the owners’ fishing boat can be moored underneath their home. You can even drive your boat up alongside Mukai Shuzō and buy a crate of Sake!
The Mukai brewery has an incredibly long history having been founded in 1754 and is still a family run business today. The current Tōji [Master Brewer] is Kuniko who is the eldest daughter of the Kuramoto [Brewery Owner] Yoshihisa Mukai. Kuniko became one of the first women Tōji in Japan when she became a professional Sake brewer after she graduated from agricultural university. Kuniko’s husband has also now also joined the brewing team at Mukai after having worked at Akishika Shuzō.
Kuniko Mukai constantly experiments with unusual rice and yeast combinations producing new and unique types of Sake, most of which are made in minuscule amounts. Ine Mankai, the result of one of these innovations, utilises an ancient variety of red rice in part of its fermentation. In Japan, red rice has been cultivated and used for traditional celebrations in provincial villages and towns for centuries, but it is extremely rare to see red rice used commercially.
Ine Mankai is a rose petal coloured Sake with high levels of sweetness balanced by high levels of acidity, which makes this a Sake well suited to food matching. Complex smokey cherry, vanilla and pickle aroma with a unique savoury, umami rich palate combining with flavours of pomegranate and vanil