All the rice we use for sake is organically grown. The milling rate is 90%, the same as for edible rice. We make the best use of the rice to create an unprecedented sake.
We do not use pesticides in our rice. Edible rice is often grown with the use of fertilisers in order to create nitrogen-rich crops with a higher protein content. This rice is better for eating, but can also attract pests and disease. We grow rice without fertiliser, which makes the crops less susceptible to pests and disease, but which results in rice with a lower protein content. While this might be a disadvantage for edible rice, it has an unexpected benefit for sake brewing – the rice is less prone to cracking, and is less likely to produce unwanted flavours.
We grow our own organically farmed rice and purchase Sasanishiki rice from our contract farmer, Ishiyama Nosan in Ogata village, Akita. The owner, Norio Ishiyama, is Japan’s first JAS-certified organic rice grower. In order to showcase the best of these rice varieties, we polish them at a low rate of 90%. Natural cultivation without the use of pesticides and fertilisers, and low milling, which reduces food losses, also contribute to a sustainable society.