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Cate Blanchett Joins Toku Saké as Creative Director

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February 22nd – Double Academy Award-winning actor and producer Cate Blanchett has joined premium saké brand, Toku Saké, as Creative Director. Blanchett is playing a pivotal role at the company, overseeing creative strategy and direction, including new product development and innovation. Blanchett comments, “The thoughtful, reflective craftsmanship that is part and parcel of everyday life in Japan has long been a touchstone for me. Saké reflects these traditional values with its intense focus on method, purity and authenticity. Sitting around a table with friends and family, celebrating and breaking bread together is one of life’s great pleasures, and over the years I have had countless, joy-filled nights sharing saké in this way. I’m excited to help bring the exquisite liquid which is Toku Saké into the world market.” 

Announcing Blanchett’s appointment, Co-Founders of Toku Saké, Anthony Newman and Peter Hudson note: “We are honoured to welcome Cate to the team. Her critically acclaimed background as an artist and producer, along with her passion for Japanese culture and highly selective involvement in global projects, will open new doors for our brand. We’re excited to see what the new chapter holds for Toku Saké. We are looking forward to seeing the Toku Saké vision shared and realised with the rest of the  world, as saké grows in popularity in western markets.”  

SERENDIPITY AND ALIGNMENT 

The announcement comes at a time when saké is gaining increased popularity across the world. According to recent data by the Japan Saké and Shochu Makers Association, Japanese saké exports reached a record high of 47.5 billion Japanese yen (US$361m) in 2022, up 18% from 2021, and a 431% increase from 2012. 

“Toku”, meaning virtue in Japanese, is inspired by the seven virtues of the samurai; justice, courage, benevolence, respect, honesty, honour, and loyalty, that guided their journey.  

HOKKAIDO, WHERE COLD FIRES PASSION 

Brewed in Asahikawa, Japan’s coldest city in Japan’s coldest prefecture, Hokkaido, Toku Saké uses time-honoured techniques developed over 120 years by one of the region’s oldest breweries. Made with highly polished Yamada Nishiki rice – the best quality rice with which to make saké – and fermented in the region’s freezing conditions, Toku is the highest quality of saké available and boasts unparalleled flavours and aromas. 

Hailing from the Hokkaido region, a prefecture that has just 16 saké breweries compared to approximately 1,200 across the rest of Japan, Toku Saké is created in an exceptionally cold climate, resulting in distinctly delicate, aromatic notes and an exceptionally long, rich finish, which truly sets it apart from other Junmai Daiginjo saké.  

To mark the launch of this partnership and to show their continued commitment to the environment, Toku works with Treeapp to plant one mangrove for every bottle sold, sequestering far more carbon than the business produces in operations.  

As the brand continues its plans to expand, Blanchett joins the business to drive the creative vision whilst underpinning its modern approach, with tradition at its heart. 

About Toku Saké : 

72cl | 16% ABV | £155 

www.tokusake.com 

Instagram: @toku.sake 

Toku Saké is a super premium saké brewed in Asahikawa, Japan’s coldest city in Japan’s coldest prefecture, Hokkaido. Created, bottled, shipped and enjoyed in the cold, Toku is a new experience in saké. 

Toku Junmai Daiginjo features Yamada Nishiki rice polished to 35%, koji and spring water from Hokkaido’s Daisetsuzan mountain range. 

Tasting Notes 

  • Appearance: Limpid 
  • Aroma: Delicate, inviting aromas of honeydew melon and peach complemented by creamier notes of  baked apples, fresh bread and slow-cooked plums. 
  • Palate: Light, but wonderfully silken with a round mid-palate. Nuanced Ginjo flavours that segue into  a chalky palate reminiscent of Grand Cru Champagne. 
  • Finish: Well-balanced acidity gives way to gentle spice, whilst subtle yet developed umami provides  structure and weight. Medium body with a persistent finish. 

Best enjoyed chilled to 5°C, please enjoy Toku responsibly.  

About Cate Blanchett

Cate Blanchett is an internationally acclaimed producer, artistic director, two-time Academy award & four-time BAFTA winning actor, humanitarian and dedicated member of the arts community.  

Blanchett works with brands she is passionate about. She has been very close to Mr Giorgio Armani for more than 15 years. As a longtime admirer of Mr Armani and his aesthetic, their personal relationship deepened when he became Patron of the Sydney Theatre Company while she was co Artistic Director. That relationship has further evolved over time with Blanchett becoming the face of the now iconic Sí Fragrance. The Armani universe takes much of its inspiration from Japanese art and culture. However, her technical fascination with saké began while she was the global ambassador for the Japanese skincare brand SK-II with numerous visits to saké breweries. Cate has also developed a strong and personal relationship over the years with Nicolas Ghesquière, before becoming a global ambassador for his designs. 

As co-founder of production company Dirty Films, alongside partners Andrew Upton and Coco Francini in 2023, Blanchett produced and appeared in Warwick Thornton’s award-winning THE NEW BOY. She also produced Christos Nikou’s Apple Original Films feature FINGERNAILS, with Jessie Buckley, Riz Ahmed and Jeremy Allen White, and Noora Niasari’s award-winning debut feature SHAYDA, starring Zar Amir Ebrahimi.  

With Dirty Films she also executive produced Christos Nikou’s APPLES; the 10-time EMMY nominated MRS AMERICA for FX; produced and co-created the 13-time AACTA-winning series STATELESS for Netflix. Her other producing credits include TÁR, CAROL, THE TURNING and TRUTH. Her acting credits in film include ELIZABETH, THE LIFE AQUATIC, BLUE JASMINE, CAROL, I’M NOT THERE, NOTES ON A  SCANDAL, THOR, OCEAN’S 8 and TÁR. With Dirty Films, upcoming producing projects include PEACHES  starring Emma Corrin and Lucie Zhang, THE CHAMPIONS with director Ben Stiller, and an adaptation  of Lucia Berlin’s A MANUAL FOR CLEANING WOMEN. For Dirty Films she also created and produced the Audible Original podcast CLIMATE OF CHANGE, and produced EVOLVER, a groundbreaking VR interactive experience. Dirty Films, with Dr Stacy Smith’s USC Annenberg Initiative, recently launched PROOF OF CONCEPT, a program offering financial support, mentorship and exhibition opportunities to emerging filmmakers. 

From 2008 to 2014, Blanchett was co-Artistic Director and CEO of the internationally acclaimed SYDNEY THEATRE COMPANY (annual turnover $35M), alongside Andrew Upton, programming annual seasons of 16 productions across four Sydney venues, as well as national and international touring in Europe and the USA. Co-leading Australia’s largest performing arts company she also advocated for the environment and co-led the transformation of the company’s home to accommodate Australia’s second-largest rooftop solar array, while developing the award-winning Greening the Wharf  sustainability program and pioneering in-school professional learning programs. She was also involved  in the activation of the “cultural ribbon” along Sydney’s waterfront.  

Blanchett is a Global Goodwill Ambassador for UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency. She is passionately committed to championing positive action in the environmental space. As a member of The  Earthshot Prize Council which also includes Sir David Attenborough and Prince William, she has selected the winners of the Prize for three consecutive years.  

She has presided over festival juries in Cannes and Venice, and The Venice Film Festival has twice awarded her with The Volpi Cup for Best Performance. Blanchett holds a BFI Fellowship from the BFI London Film Festival, and has received the Stanley Kubrick Award for Excellence in Film and has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Numerous other accolades include the Kuwait-America Foundation Humanitarian Award, the Honorary Cesar, International Goya and Chaplin Awards. Blanchett has been appointed Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres in France, named a Companion of the Order of Australia, presented with a Centenary Medal for service to Australian  Society, and has been awarded Honorary Doctorates by the University of New South Wales, the University of Sydney and Macquarie University.

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