The ground works for the first phase of Komoro Distillery, the first distillery under Karuizawa Distillers (KDI), have been completed a few days ago. This ambitious and innovative distillery is now officially entering the construction phase.
The site of the Komoro Distillery was a five-year search by the founder and CEO of Karuizawa Distillery Co., Ltd., Koji Shimaoka, who thought it was the most suitable location for establishing a whisky distillery.
In order to facilitate the transportation of raw materials and products, most of the distilleries in the world choose to settle on flat or flat terrain, but the founder Takazhi Shimaoka and the famous bartender Zhang Yulan (Ian Chang) finally chose this terrain as the undulating terrain. The purpose of setting up a factory in a challenging location is to obtain a perfect water source and an ideal mature environment, which is a crucial part of KDI's construction concept.
This ultra-modern winery designed by architects Akira Sogo and Mami Sogo is not only equipped with top-of-the-line equipment, but also the world's first interior and exterior wall built with floor-to-ceiling glass. winery. Visitors will be able to admire the distilling facilities surrounded by magnificent natural landscapes from any corner of the winery.
Architect Akira Sogo:
When Mr. Shimaoka and Mr. Yulan Zhang discussed the Komoro distillery project with us, three main requirements and visions came up; first, the design would help produce the highest quality single malt whisky. Secondly, it is hoped that the winery building can integrate into and make good use of the local environment and reflect the local characteristics. Finally, the design must be aesthetically appealing to drive and improve the local tourism industry. The beautiful, sophisticated and innovative designs we have built with the above three points in mind are sure to meet these requirements.
We wanted to create a one-of-a-kind distillery and visitor centre using glass, metal and local wood. Our team used state-of-the-art structural engineering to complete the winery's floor-to-roof glass design. It also spent six months studying how to strengthen the stability of the hillside terrain to ensure that the foundations created under the existing terrain would support the entire building.
For the vision and passion of the distillery founder to create the best architecture and whisky in the most beautiful place in the world, all KDI team members hold the spirit of dedication and dedication, this super era that will continue to lead for generations The distillery project is really inspiring.
In addition to the design of the building, the design and installation of the copper pot still is very critical, which can affect the success or failure of the whisky brewing process. Therefore, Xiaozhu Distillery has chosen a world-renowned professional technical team, Rothes, Scotland. Forsyths did it all.
Richard Forsyth, Managing Director, Forsyths：
I am very happy to cooperate with Mr. Zhang Yulan again to jointly build the Xiaozhu Distillery that everyone is looking forward to. We are very honored that our company's design has been selected and commissioned to execute this extraordinary project, and we are more than willing to face the engineering challenges posed by this terrain. We thank the Karuizawa Distilled Liquor Manufacturing Co., Ltd. team for their trust in us, and look forward to the installation of distillation equipment on site as soon as possible, so as to perfectly achieve the delivery task of KDI.
Toshihiro Koizumi, Mayor of Komoro City:
The first whisky distillery in Komoro is about to be built, and I am very much looking forward to it becoming an important new hub for the whisky and tourism industries. As one of the most famous whisky distilleries in the world, I have begun to look forward to the near future when whisky lovers from Japan and around the world will visit Komoro to taste the whiskies of Komoro Distillery and be immersed in the beautiful and rich nature here. and geographical environment. I sincerely hope that the construction of Komoro Distillery can proceed safely and smoothly.
Koji Shimaoka, founder and CEO of KDI：
For the past five years, I've been searching for the perfect location and hoping to build a whisky distillery worthy of the place, and it's finally come true, which is a dream come true for me. As the first local distillery, the Komoro Distillery is also of great significance for the entire Komoro and Karuizawa regions to revitalize the local economy - not only can it provide employment opportunities, but also become a whisky tourism destination and bring tourists. Because what we build is a genuine global brand! I am extremely proud of the Xiaozhu team, and I am very optimistic about the winery itself, which is finally taking shape.
Ian Chang, Co-Founder and Head Bartender of KDI：
I am very proud and excited to announce that we are building a distillery like never before. I am very grateful to our architects, Akira Tokawa and Asami Tokawa, who designed such a modern, innovative and unique distillery for us. This design brings together the three elements of our distillery: team (people), natural environment (local) and whisky (liquid) in perfect harmony. This is not only reflected in the production, but most importantly in the maturation of our highly anticipated whisky! "
Despite the severe challenges faced by the new crown epidemic in the past two years, we expect to start the distillation operation in the spring of 2023 as scheduled; this is undoubtedly a testament to the ability of this team. I very much hope that the distillation equipment will be on site as soon as possible, preferably next month. I'm pretty sure we've reached a critical stage now, and that's what I'm excited about.
The construction phase of the Komoro Distillery is progressing as planned, with distillation operations to begin in spring 2023. The distillery is located on a hilltop overlooking Komoro City facing south, and is located next to the National Park, with a great geographical position; it is only eleven kilometers away from the ruins of the old Karuizawa Distillery in Miyoda Town, which is older than the The factory is closer to the same water source, where a limited number of Japanese single malt whiskies will be produced.
Because many investors have great confidence in the vision of Shimaoka Takazhi and Zhang Yulan, Kozhu Distillery has obtained abundant capital beyond expectations; some of the investors are listed companies. Komoro Distillery is the largest distillery currently under construction in Japan and has received full support from the local government.
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