Founded in 1717, Aoki Shuzo has a 300 year history of making fine sake, carried on today by the 12th generation descendant of the founder, Takafumi Aoki. The brewery is located in Shiozawa, a section of the famed Uonuma rice growing region said to have the best quality well water of the entire area. They follow traditional methods of only producing sake in the cold winter months, letting the natural cold temperatures guide fermentation.
At the basis of Aoki Shuzo’s philosophy is the idea of “Wago”, or the connection of everyone involved in the life of sake. It is thought that wago among “producers” including the chief brewer, young brewers and the rice farmers, “sellers” such as liquor shops and restaurants and “drinkers” who love drinking Kakurei, brings forth the finest sake. Wago is built from the experience of the people of Niigata, emphasizing their “spirit of endurance” and “spirit of cooperation” created over centuries of working together to thrive in the long and occasionally harsh winters the area is famous for.