Move over champagne, a new Parisian sake brand may soon be the toast of the luxury market. HeavenSake was envisioned by businessman and sake connoisseur Carl Hirschmann five years ago. ‘Drinking acidic wines, champagnes or sodas was problematic for me,’ he explains. ‘I discovered that Junmai Daiginjo sake [a pure type of sake, with no added alcohol] was three times less acidic than wine, so I stuck to sake.’ Hirschmann then partnered with publisher Benjamin Eymere and Etienne Russo, founder of fashion show production company Villa Eugénie, to launch his own brand. 

HeavenSake is a Franco-Japanese collaboration, developed with Japanese sake producer Dassai and Régis Camus, winemaker of the Piper-Heidsieck champagne house since 1994. Camus visited the Dassai factory in Yamaguchi prefecture, where the launch blend, HeavenSake Junmai Daiginjo, is produced, and immersed himself in the sake-making processes. The blend’s fragrance is a composition of lily, iris, lilac, hyacinth and jasmine as well as herbal notes, while the taste is suave and fruity. In the champagne monopoly of art and fashion events, the drink is set to pose a novel alternative. 

Hirschmann, Eymere and Russo developed the sleek, black bottle. ‘Sake is water-based, and its alcohol level is close to wine or champagne,’ notes Russo. ‘We wanted the bottle to reflect these elements: the purity of water, the agelessness of wine and the character of champagne.’ 

As for the tongue-in-cheek name, the goal was to be memorable but also explain the brand’s core values: ‘One imagines heaven as pure, light, beautiful, elegant and inaccessible,’ says Russo. ‘What more does a luxury brand want?’

As originally featured in the May 2016 issue of Wallpaper* (W*206)