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Craft Sake




A brewery whose combination of hand-crafted production and cutting-edge technology has received high praise at awards ceremonies

「天明」の名が刻まれた什器が蔵に Utensils dating back to the Tenmei Era (1781-1789) found in the brewery






Since its founding in the Tenmei Era, the staff of the brewery have produced high-quality sake such as Junmai and Junmai Daiginjo, observing the traditions of production while using rice provided by contracted growers.

The brewery was established in Tenmei 8 (1788). The brewery’s long history was discovered when the staff were replacing old utensils in the brewery and it was discovered that they were engraved as having been made in the Tenmei era, cementing the brewery’s long history of sake production.

The entirety of the brewery’s production is high-grade sake, sold under the name “Benten”, which is the name of one of the Seven Gods of Fortune, the goddess of music and performing arts.

Uzaemon Gotoh, the brewery’s founder, received permission from the Okutsushima Shrine, which enshrines the goddess Benten, to use her name, and the brewery has done so ever since.

「辯天(べんてん)」、そして 「べんてん 山羽音 -さわね- 」From “Benten” to “Benten Sawane”





また「吟醸王国」山形 = ”山形”、“奥羽”の酒の雫が「辨財天」の弾き語る琵琶の”音”のごとく、口中をころころ転がるイメージを基に、「べんてん 山羽音 -さわね-」と名づけました。

The “Benten” brand name originates from one of the Seven Gods of Fortune, Benten, the goddess of music and performing arts.

Upon embarking on this collaboration with the Gotoh Brewery, Mottox retained the “Benten” in reverence of the brewery’s long-held traditions.

To the “Benten” name, “Sawane” was added, with each syllable made up of a kanji character alluding to Yamagata Prefecture (where the sake is made), the Ou mountain range (located near the brewery), and harmony, referring to the sake’s elegantly balanced profile.

豪雪・極寒の地域 A region of heavy snow and intense cold





The Gotoh Brewery is located in Higashiokitama-gun’s Takahatamachi, close to Yonezawa-shi.

Located in the Okitama Basin and surrounded by mountains, it consistently ranks as one of the snowiest, most coldest locations in the prefecture.

While the amount of snowfall is high, the large seasonal temperature differences and plentiful meltwater are ideal for the cultivation of cherries, apples, grapes, of course, rice.

Isabella Bird, the 19th century British explorer, praises the bountiful and beautiful Okitama Basin in her work Unbeaten Tracks in Japan, describing it as a “Garden of Eden” and an “Arcadia of the East”.

「少量多品種」、「手造り」と「新技術」へのこだわり A preference for low volumes, multiple rice varieties, hand-crafted sake, and new technology




In 2017 the brewery’s production volume was around 100,000 liters. The sake is made predominantly from rice from contracted growers and production focuses on Junmai and Junmai Daiginjo.

The brewery favours using sake rice, and by devoting themselves to small volume production they are able to produce sake of the finest quality.

オールステンレスの麹室 The all-stainless koji room




The brewery’s koji room, renovated a few years ago, is now made entirely from stainless steel, including the walls and ceiling. This enables the brewery to maintain a high standard of hygiene and produce a clean and pure sake free from off-flavours.

The brewery has been upgrading its facilities over the last few years with a view to increasing the quality of its sake, and critics agree that the results are more than evident in the finished product.


最高賞トロフィー&ゴールドメダル Trophies and gold medals


近年では、インターナショナル・ワイン・チャレンジ2017 大吟醸の部で最高賞トロフィー&ゴールドメダルをW受賞しました。


2017年 インターナショナル・ワイン・チャレンジ2017(イギリス) 大吟醸の部 最高賞【大吟醸トロフィー】受賞
年 全米日本酒歓評会 純米酒の部 最高賞 グランプリ(大賞)受賞
年 インターナショナル・ワイン・チャレンジ2018(イギリス) ゴールドメダル受賞
年 Kura Master(フランス) 金賞受賞
年 Kura Master(フランス) プラチナ賞受賞
年 全米日本酒歓評会 ゴールドメダル受賞、蔵元最高賞【エメラルド賞】受賞
年 インターナショナル・ワイン・チャレンジ2021(イギリス) 部門最高賞【古酒トロフィー】受賞
年 全米日本酒歓評会 ゴールドメダル受賞

The brewery’s efforts at making a modern, high-quality sake have been rewarded with prizes at numerous awards ceremonies and competitions.

The brewery notably took home both a gold medal and the Overall Winner’s Trophy for the Daiginjo category at the International Wine Challenge in 2017.

2017 International Wine Challenge (United Kingdom) – Daiginjo Category – Overall Winner (Daiginjo Trophy)

2017 U.S. National Sake Appraisal – Junmai Category – Grand Prix Overall Winner

2018 International Wine Challenge (United Kingdom) – Gold Medal

2019 Kura Master (France) – Gold Medal

2020 Kura Master (France) – Platinum Medal

2020 U.S. National Sake Appraisal – Gold Medal, Overall Brewery Prize (Emerald Medal)

2021 International Wine Challenge (United Kingdom) – Overall Category Prize (Aged Sake Trophy)

2021 U.S. National Sake Appraisal – Gold Medal

寒仕込みの「べんてん山羽音 純米吟醸」The role of cold temperatures in the making of Benten Sawane Junmai Ginjo





During winter, the average temperature is consistently around zero, allowing for a slow fermentation to take place.

The finished Junmai Ginjo has gentle aromas, a refreshing taste and a palate-filling umami befitting of Yamagata-ken, often referred to as “the Kingdom of Ginjo”.

The brewery uses Dewa no Sato rice, Yamagata’s own sake rice. After pasteurization­, the sake is stored at low temperatures to enhance its rounded profile.

Benten’s face adorns the label – we hope you will get to know her well.