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- Product Specification of Geographical Indication “白山（Hakusan）”
Ⅰ Matters relating the characteristics of liquor which is essentially attributable to its geographical origin
- (a) Characteristics of liquor
Hakusan’s sake in general is rich, full-bodied, taking advantage of the delicious taste of rice.
Among them, Junmai-Ginjo-shu and Ginjo-shu have a fruity flavor and moderate sourness, and with its rich taste and flavor, make drinkers feel the dignity.
- (b) Essential attribution of its geographical origin to characteristics of liquor
- (1) Natural factor
Hakusan City of Ishikawa Prefecture is located on the alluvial fan of Tedorigawa-river which issues from the sacred mountain Hakusan that has been a religious subject from over 1300 years ago, and is blessed with affluent underflow water. This water contains a lot of calcium and little potassium and therefore, it facilitates mild fermentation during the sake brewing process and promotes the dissolution of rice and hence, brings the delicious taste of rice and forms the rich, full-bodied quality of sake which is peculiar to Hakusan.
- (2) Human factor
From time immemorial, Hakusan’s sake has been cultivated by history and tradition of “Kikuzake (chrysanthemum sake).” In ancient times, “Kikuzake” is a sake with chrysanthemum petals being floated in a cup. According to the “Engishiki” which was compiled in the Heian Period and was one of the ceremonial rules, there was a custom to drink Kikuzake in the palace at the time of the Chrysanthemum Festival during the period. According to one estimate about “Kikuzake,” a trickle of sake made after drinking up full-bodied sake looked like a chrysanthemum pattern.
Moreover, in the Tokitsugu Yamashina’s book “Tokitsugu-kyoki” (written in 1527), there is a description that the Hakusan’s “Kikuzake” was brought to Kyoto, meaning that sake has been brewed in the area through the ages.
Furthermore, in the Ekiken Kaibara’s book “Fuso-kisho” (written in around 1700), with regard to sake brewed in the Hakusan area, the following descriptions were found and hence, it is clear that the quality of the sake has received a high evaluation through the ages:
“Kashu Tsurugi (now Hakusan City) is located approximately 12 kilometers off from Kanazawa. There is a river flowing in from Hakusan. It is called Tedorigawa-river. Sake is brewed using the water. Sake is brewed using snow-broth. Sake is clear and very delicious. Someone travels around a country and tastes various sake. This is the world’s best sake.”
Based on such background, sake makers in the Hakusan area pursue technologies to brew extremely tasty and full-bodied sake and to make drinkers feel the dignity, as well as make efforts to develop products such as Yamahai-jikomi (Yamahai brewing method) etc. In addition, they make efforts to maintain the characteristics of sake and improve the quality of sake by, among others, launching a local brand “Hakusan-Kikuzake” in 2005.
Ⅱ Matters relating to ingredients and production method of liquor
To use the geographical indication “Hakusan,” it is required to meet the following requirements:
- (a) Ingredients
- (b) Production method
- (1) Sake manufactured in accordance with the production method of sake stipulated in Item 7 of Article 3 of the Liquor Tax Act (except for the part concerning the sub item c. of the Item 7) in Hakusan City of Ishikawa Prefecture. Provided, however, that the Ekika-jikomi (liquefaction brewing) shall not be made for producing Moromi.
- (2) Shubo shall be used for brewing.
- (3) The percentage of use of Koji-mai (rice for koji) shall be 20% or more.
- (4) If sake is stored during the brewing process, it shall be stored in Hakusan City of Ishikawa Prefecture.
- (5) Sake shall be filled in the container scheduled to be delivered to consumers in Hakusan City of Ishikawa Prefecture.
- (Note 1) “Preparation for liquefaction”is a preparation method to liquefy sake rice by using enzymes without being steamed.
- (Note 2) “Shubo” is yeast starter propagated by rice, rice koji and water to help with the process of producing sake.
- (Note 3) “Proportion of koji rice used” is based on Section1, Item 3 of “Labeling Standards for Producing Process and Quality of Sake(1989 National Tax Office Notice No.8) ”
Ⅲ Matters relating to management for maintaining the characteristics of liquor
To use the geographical indication “Hakusan,” sake makers, before liquor with the geographical indication are transferred (except for transfers applicable to the provisions of Paragraph 1 of Article 28 of the Liquor Tax Act) from the production site of liquor (including a site regarded as the production site with a license of production liquor under the provisions of Paragraph 6 of Article 28 and Paragraph 4 of Article 28-3 of the Liquor Tax Act - Act No. 6 of 1953), need to get confirmation based on the business application guidelines prepared by the following control body whether the liquor with the geographical indication satisfy the “Matters relating to the characteristics of liquor mainly linked with the production area of the liquor” and the “Matters relating to ingredients and production method of liquor.”
Name of Control Body: GI Hakusan Sake Management Organization
Address: c/o Hakusan Sake Makers Association
Hakusan City, Ishikawa Prefecture
Phone number: 076-276-4888
Ⅳ Matters relating liquor classes
Seishu /sake (Article 3, Item 7 of the Liquor Tax Act)