Hai, Arigato! Hog Island Oyster Bar is now serving premium Japanese sake from Sake Tengoku of St. Helena. A partnership of three local industry veterans — acclaimed sushi chef Ken Tominaga, Sake master Stuart Morris and business manager Julie Bath, Sake Tengoku imports high-quality, small production sakes that have never before been imported to the US.
Aizu Chushou Junmai’s subtle and complex aroma of quince, celery, kumquat and almond is a unique and delightful pairing with fresh seafood — and raw oysters.
The city Aizu Wakayama where this sake is brewed has very drastic weather patterns, creating distinctive seasonal changes helping the local farmers to grow some of the best rice in Japan. Rice requires heavy rainfall, cool winters and hot humid summers. The temperature variation increases between days and nights during summer in the foothills of Fukushima. In winter, consistent snowfall cleans the atmosphere, stabilizing low temperatures to furnish a good sake brewing environment.
This traditional brewery uses no modern machines to make their sake. A visit to this brewery would astonish you…steaming rice in a large metal pots, ropes and pulleys, wooden platforms, wheelbarrows…all part of the day to day brewing process at this Sakagura.
All of their sake is truly handmade and in small amounts which lets this Toji input his beautiful spirit into the sake. The resulting sake is stylistically light, delicate, pretty and soft, much like the reflective moments spent by the koi pond in the rear of the brewery.