The Sankei News reports on an attempt by Hiroshima sake brewers to strengthen their branding and expand retail channels overseas – by teaming up with the French wine region of Burgundy.

Hiroshima Prefecture signed a basic agreement for mutual cooperation with Vignerons Indépendants Bourgogne-Jura, an independent wine producers’ association for the Burgundy-Jura region.

The signing ceremony took place at the Hiroshima prefectural government offices, with Hidehiko Yuzaki, governor of Hiroshima Prefecture, signing the agreement alongside Virginie Petit from the Burgundy-Jura association.

Both parties hope the agreement will lead to information sharing on brand strategy and brewing technique, as well as increased recognition to help them get a foothold in each other’s territories and expand sales channels.

Virginie Petit, who represents around 330 independent producers in Burgundy, commented on the similarities between the two areas: long-running family businesses with a focus on quality. When asked about the Hiroshima sake she had tried, she said it had rich and full aroma while still being well-balanced, and she definitely wanted to try more.

Governor Hidehiko Yuzaki commented that he hoped to use the experience and knowledge of the world-famous Burgundy region brand to raise the global profile of Hiroshima sake.

The prefecture formed the Hiroshima Prefecture Sake Brand Promotion Committee in FY2014 in collaboration with 11 Hiroshima breweries, primarily focused on promotional activities in France. [広島県日本酒ブランド化促進協議会, Hiroshima-ken nihonshu burando-ka sokushin iinkai, possibly Les Grands Sakés de Hiroshima in French.]

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