Nagayama Honke

永山本家酒造 - 貴

Annual Production
1200 Koku (200,000L)

Nagayama Honke was established in 1888 in Ube, Yamaguchi prefecture, at the bottom tip of Honshu Island.  The current Kuramoto Takahiro Nagayama, fifth generation president and Toji, first joined the brewery in 2001 with the strong desire to transition to making only Junmai sake.  However, at that time, 95% of the sake on the market was Aruten sake, sake with added brewer’s alcohol, and Junmai was not at all fashionable.  Since that time, things have changed drastically, and for this we can thank intrepid individuals such as Mr. Takahiro Nagayama for his strong commitment to the pure form of sake.  

At the beginning of his own personal journey with sake, Mr. Nagayama spent time visiting vineyards where natural wine was being produced.  He was drawn to the strong connection to the land and the natural environment these producers had.  In Japan the idea of terroir was not really something being talked about, and most sake producers were getting their rice from all around the country.  He longed to create a sake more akin to that of the historical winemaking families of France who painstakingly controlled each element of their wine production, from grape growing to fermentation and aging, to showcase the regionality and uniquely local character of their product.  


永山氏と日本酒との出会いは、自然派ワインを造っているフランスのブドウ畑を訪ね歩いたのが始まりでした。 日本ではテロワールについてはあまり語られず、酒米も全国各地から取り寄せていた当時、永山氏はフランスのワイン生産者が持つ土地や自然環境との強い結びつきに惹かれたといいます。一方、フランスでは史上のワイン醸造家がブドウの栽培から発酵、熟成に至るまで、ワインづくりの各要素を丹念に管理し、地域性やその土地ならではの個性を引き出すような酒づくりを行っていました。