Iwate Prefecture's New Original Sake Brewing Suitable Rice (Yuinoka)

By Kosuke Kuji

After about 10 years of research and development, Iwate Prefecture announced their new Iwate prefecture original sake brewing suitable rice "Yuinoka".

In Iwate Prefecture, they developed two kinds of prefecture original sake brewing suitable rice for Ginjo usage and Junmai/Honjozo usage 15 years ago.

"Ginginga" for the original sake brewing suitable rice for Ginjo, and "Ginotome" for the original sake brewing suitable rice for Junmai/Honjozo were the two kinds of Iwate prefecture's original sake brewing suitable rices, and even Nanbu Bijin used them to make different kinds of sake.

However, from that time, they were thinking "We would like to develop the highest grade sake rice with Iwate's original rice varieties", and 5 years after "Ginginga" and "Ginotome" were produced, they continued the research for a new variety sake rice that was superior to the highest quality sake rice "Yamadanishi".

Since a variety like Yamadanishiki can not be grown in cold lands, they mixed Yamadanishiki with a variety that grows in the cold land, and after many trial and errors, they were finally able to debut a sake rice that had higher quality characteristic than Yamadanishiki. It's name is "Yuinoka".

Nanbu Bijin was also in charge in experimental brewing for 3 years, and reported that it was an extremely good sake rice, but I am deeply moved that it is now not only Iwate prefecture's original variety sake brewing suitable rice but also it debuted as the highest quality variety.

Nanbu Binju has made a sake prepared with Yuinoka to meet the standards to be entered into the Annual Japan Sake Awards, and having that sake awarded the "Gold Prize" at the Annual Japan Sake Awards held 2 years ago, I couldn't be more proud to show off our variety having superior quality over Yamadanishi at the all Japan level.

The sake that is made with "Yuionoka" is sold by 12 breweries in Iwate prefecture, has the uniform label with different color series according to each brewery, each bottle containing 720 ml, and only 1000 bottles are sold.

We are very far from exporting any overseas but we are increasing our rice productions. In the close future, we hope you can enjoy our Junmai Daiginjo brewed with "Yuinoka" from Iwate prefecture even in the U.S.