Sake is a type of Japanese alcoholic beverage prepared from an infusion made from rice.
Two very important elements are required to make sake … rice and water.
Good sake is made with good rice and good water.
The method to produce sake is more similar to the production of beer than to the wine.
Sugar is needed for yeast to produce alcohol.
First, the hard, golden husk is removed from the rice grain to scrape the outer surface, leaving only the center of the grain.
Afterwards, it is washed with water, leaving it to soak for a while, and it is steam cleaned and allowed to cool.
Then a dough is made that is left to ferment. This dough is made from “koji,” a mold with enzymes that convert the starch in rice into sugar, water, and steamed rice. The yeasts in the dough transform glucose and fructose into alcohol.
To obtain the sake, the dough is placed in bags that are pressed to separate the liquid from the dough.
Nikko’s Sake Winery: The Watanabe Winery There are many sake wineries in Japan. From Hokkaido in the north to Okinawa in the south, a variety of sake is made in each region. Sake is a typical drink of Japan and very important to our religion. that is why Sake is a sacred drink.
We visit the sake cellar during the tour. (Nikko, Nagano, Kyoto, Hyogo and Takayama etc)
There are some near Tokyo, but I think it is better to visit a sake cellar after sightseeing in Nikko.
The Watanabe winery always welcomes foreign tourists with warmth. The owner speaks English so he can explain the difference in taste and how to make it.