PLUM WINE AND NATSUMIKAN LIQUEUR We have been crafting Japanese sake for over 180 years, however in 2009, we crafted our first liqueur of plum wine using the local agricultural products. It was when
we heard about an increasing number of abandoned plum trees due to the aging population of local farmers that we decided to develop sake-based plum wine as an effective use of those plum fruits. Katsuura Society of Commerce and Industry
suggested us to apply for a government program, Support for Regional resource utilization, with a referral to local plum producers. We consulted with SME support, Japan (Organization for Small & Medium Enterprises and Regional Innovation)
for the first time in our history of Yoshino-Shuzo as an opportunity to approach a new business. With a help from a professional adviser, we prepared our business plan and had it approved by SME support, Japan in November of 2009.
We experimented various sake to develop plum wine with in order to make the most of the original flavor and scent from the plum fruits. As we discovered an excellent harmony between the plum fruits and our Junmai-Daiginjo, we successfully developed a Junmai-Ginjo based plum wine with fine and elegant flavors. When we had it commercialized for a small quantity as a trial, it was highly praised among our customers. As the reputation of plum wine spread by word of mouth with its popularity getting established, there were increasing requests for semi-sweet plum wine. So we developed a light and refreshing version of plum wine based with drier Ginjo sake, which also turned into a big hit.
CONTRIBUTION TO THE LOCAL COMMUNITY As a results of the development and commercialization of plum wine, we were able to contribute to the local community in the following ways: higher revenue among local
plum producers led by the increase in commercial value of the local plums, a gradual expansion of orchards in the area joining our business led by higher demand for plums, and consequently well-managed orchards.
Since we were able to successfully commercialize the plum wine as described above, we looked for innovated new ways to utilize other local unused resources. As a second innovation after the success of our plum wine, we developed Natsumikan liqueur and also had it approved by SME Support, Japan.
COMMITMENT TO HAND-CRAFTING Our preparation includes gently removing the stem off of each plum fruit and removing the membranes of natsumikan from each segment by hand to avoid a bitter taste unique
to natsumikan. Such labor and time are reflected in the flavors, leading to good recognitions for both liqueurs.
We believe those recognitions were led by not only the flavors of the liqueurs, but also our commitment to hand-crafting them without added flavoring and coloring to make the most of the original flavors from each ingredient.