EMW and Yonetsuru, Historic Yamagata Sake Brewer, Sign Exclusive Import and Distribution Agreement for Mainland China.

Date : 2020.08.18
EMW and Yonetsuru, Historic Yamagata Sake Brewer, Sign Exclusive Import and Distribution Agreement for Mainland China.

2020/08/17, Shanghai - EMW Fine Wines (Shanghai) Limited (EMW) and Yonetsuru Shuzo Co., Ltd. (Yonetsuru), the 300 year old Yamagata Prefecture Sake brewer signed an exclusive agreement for import and distribution in Mainland China.


“YONETSURU ‘Grateful Crane’ is a sake brewery with a history of brewing sake for more than 300 years in the mountainous areas of southern Yamagata Prefecture.  We have been practicing sake brewing from sake rice cultivation in cooperation with local farmers since 1983, but this concept, which is a common place in the wine business, is actually new in the sake business, and YONETSURU is a pioneer”, said 12th generation President, Umetsu Yoichiro.  “By collaborating with EMW, who has a proven track record in the wine business in China, it is a great pleasure to be able to convey the deliciousness of YONETSURU, which has won more than 150 awards both in Japan and abroad, not only to sake fans but also to wine fans who have not had the opportunity to experience real sake.”


Yamagata Prefecture has caught the attention of the world for being the prefecture that has won the most IWC awards for their outstanding quality Sake. And among all the breweries in this area, Yonetsuru stands out as a leader. “Yonetsuru caught my attention because of the sake’s balance of flavor, approachable style, and classic, beautiful labels,” said, Knight Hu, Sake Brand Manager of EMW. “The brewery has hundreds of years of history and is a family business passed on from generation to generation. They produce modern, elegant, beautiful Sake that shows innovation and a strong understanding of what Sake consumers love.”



About Yonetsuru


“Yone” means rice and “Tsuru” is a Japanese crane. The Tsuru is seen as the ‘bringer of wisdom, hope, a long life, and happiness.’ With a history of more than 300 years Yonetsuru was built in the beautiful and rich mountainside village of Takahata in the prefecture of Yamagata. It began at the end of the Edo Era with the Yonezawa family’s royal sake making appointment and continues today with the tradition and wisdom passed down through generations. The name “Yonetsuru” is derived from the local story “The Crane’s Promise.” The Word “Yone” is made up of the number 88 and “Tsuru” also represents “88 White Crane”, both has auspicious meaning.


When it comes to the product, Yonetsuru works with local farmers, strictly controls the rice production and all manner of sake brewing, always following strict Yamagata Prefecture Geographical Certification Standards ----- the sake rice, water, and yeast are all from Yamagata Prefecture. Not only that, but Yonetsuru is also committed to the development of some rare and once-lost specialty raw materials. Such as Yonetsuru “Turtle Tail” Junmaiginjo is made with the historic Kamenoo (“Turtle Tail”) rice. This rice has been used since the Meiji period (1868-1912) when it was highly praised by the Sake producers of the time and represented half of the rice used in Sake production. The Kamenoo Turtle Tail rice is also the ancestor of many high quality Japanese table rice such as Koshihikari and Akitakomachi rice.  It can be said that Japan’s favorite rice flavors are derived from the Turtle Tail rice.


Sake Portfolio


YT01 – YONETSURU “Turtle Tail” Junmaidaiginjo


YT02 – YONETSURU “Happy Land” Junmaiginjo


YT03 – YONETSURU “Happy Land” Junmai


YT04 – YONETSURU “Andante” Junmai


YT05 – YONETSURU “Cantabile” Junmai



EMW Fine Wines


EMW is a leading importer, distributor and brand builder in the Greater China market, working closely with more than 90 leading family-owned estates from 16 countries around the world.  EMW has an unequaled distribution network to top restaurants, hotels, wine shops, online VIP customers and an exclusive network of distribution covering over 160 cities in China.  EMW has been awarded “Best Wine Importer” for nine consecutive years since 2011 by China Sommeliers Wine Challenge/Wine 100 Challenge.




Knight Hu, Sake Brand Manager Knight.Hu@emw-wines.com

Shanghai Office Address: Suite 202, No.664 Xinhua Road, Shanghai, China