Within the itinerary of the representatives of the Asturies XXI Foundation and the Asturian cider culture in Japan, the last task has been to visit cider mills in the Gunma prefecture.
LA SIDRA.- After the series of conferences in some Japanese cities and the participation in the Japanese cider convention Tokyo Cider Collection, the ambassadors assigned there have dedicated a special time facing businesses for the import/export of cider, exchange of techniques production and trade analysis given the growing trend of the Japanese cider market. The producers, widely scattered throughout the Japanese geography, mainly use table apples and the current trend is towards monovarietal, local, organic, filtered, pasteurized, natural production and aimed at the gourmet / delicatessen market.
Since Japan lacks a cider-making tradition, there are three main fashions when it comes to making cider: the Norman-inspired French way with a tendency towards sweetness, the English way with the use of keeving and small bottle format and with hops, and the Asturian way with special interest in natural and non-added gas, like our natural cider.
The fact of not having a cider history is not an impediment for these enterprising producers who draw on the great tradition of producing high quality and high price fruit to give their products a seal of quality.
A clear example of Japanese producers of young production but of the highest quality and variety of products is the Fukiware cidrerie, located in the green and mountainous prefecture of Gunma, famous for its apples, tengu, traditional hot springs or “onsen”… and now famous for its cider.
This cider mill, owned by Mr. Tatsuro Fuji, has recently started and has a good fan base, an intensive distribution network and can now boast of having importers in Europe.
It currently has varieties of brut, sparkling, sweet, Asturian-style cider and ice cider.
This cidermaker, who also owns the Tokyo cider bar Eclypse First Sidrería, works hand in hand with local apple producers such as Mr. Keiichiro Matsui from the Matsui Ringo-en apple company, who also makes his cider Meigetsu Cidre and has won for seven consecutive years a quality award for apple production.
These ciders and many more from the country of the rising sun will be able to be enjoyed by the Asturian public thanks to the participation of a Japanese delegation in the next edition this September of the International Hall of Gala Ciders (IHGC/SISGA), which will bring together cider producers from various countries with several hundred ciders already submitted to the contest.
We will be waiting for you there!