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- Product Specification of Geographical Indication "灘五郷（Nadagogo）"
Ⅰ Matters relating the characteristics of liquor which is essentially attributable to its geographical origin
- (a) Characteristics of liquor
Seishu (sake) in Nadagogo (literally "five villages of Nada") generally has a good harmony of elements of taste and a good aftertaste. Among them, seishu that has been stored until autumn has a good flavor and mild taste, and therefore has sake quality in which you will never get tired of drinking.
Moreover, Junmai-Ginjo-shu and Ginjo-shu have a good flavor with a combination of a fruity flavor and mild taste, and therefore has sake quality with a good aftertaste.
- (b) Essential attribution of its geographical origin to characteristics of liquor
- (1) Natural factor
Nadagogo is a collective term for Nishigo, Mikagego, Uozakigo, Nishinomiyago and Imazugo. Nadagogo is a long belt-like area stretching east to west, which is located against a backdrop of the Rokko-renpo (Rokko mountain range) in the north and faces the Osaka Bay in the south. (From here on, "Nadagogo" in these Production Standards refers to Nada Ward and Higashinada Ward of Kobe City, as well as Ashiya City and Nishinomiya City of Hyogo Prefecture)
In winter, seasonal winds from west get together at the Akashi Strait, and move across a mountain, reach the top of the mountain and then come down as Rokko Oroshi (Rokko fall wind). Such land features provide a climate that is extremely suitable for Kanzukuri (cold-weather brewing).
On the steep slopes of mountains that approach seaside of Nadagogo, there are nine rapid streams within a range of 10 kilometers from east to west. In days gone by, a large amount of high-quality white rice was produced by rice polishing by waterwheel using the water power. Moreover, as the area is a maritime area, shipping was easy. Therefore the brewing industry has been developed in the area.
Furthermore, groundwater gushing through the layer in the area, as typified by Miyamizu (Miya-water), brings in hard water that contains adequate mineral such as chlorine and potassium that are necessary for yeast growth and little iron causing coloring, which is suitable for sake brewing.
By using the water as Shikomi-mizu (water used for brewing sake), strong and sound fermentation is prompted, and therefore high-quality of sake with well-harmonized elements of taste and good aftertaste has been developed. Furthermore, by putting the sake with the characteristics of Kanzukuri sake through heat by April, and allowing it to age over the spring and summer seasons, when temperatures begin to rise, the profile of the sake gains a balanced and smooth taste. This is called "Akiagari." Of the sake that has been put through the Akiagari process, those that are with temperatures close to outside temperatures and shipped straight out of the storage tank without further heat treatment are called "Hiyaoroshi". This type of sake are traditionally shipped from Nadagogo in and after September.
- (2) Human factor
The characteristics of seishu "Nadagogo" has been strongly affected by Tamba Toji (master brewers in Tamba).
Tamba Toji is one of the three most famous Toji in Japan, together with Nanbu Toji and Echigo Toji. They are technical experts for brewing sake and are very diligent. They bring the best out of the characteristics of rice by advanced brewing skills. Furthermore, they have full knowledge on weather and the characteristics of water in the Nadagogo area and, using the knowledge, they have been brewing sake with well-harmonized elements of taste and good aftertaste.
In addition to the active role played by Toji who have traditional brewing skills, many technical experts and researchers who majored fermentology or zymurgy at universities belong to sake breweries in Nadagogo and back up the highly-advanced brewing technology of Tamba Toji by scientific knowledge, and have been advancing the technology development for further improvement. Nadashu-Kenkyukai (Society for Nada Sake Research, SNSR), a private organization where such technical experts and researchers promote exchanges of technology, has also contributed to improvement of brewing technology and human resource development of sake breweries in Nadagogo.
SNSR is composed of six study groups, i.e., Water Study Group, Rice Study Group, Brewing Study Group, Sake Quality Study Group, Management Study Group and Editing Study Group, and has been continuing a wide range of activities. In addition to the "Nadashu-Kenkyukai Newsletter," SNSR published "Nadashu" that gives a comprehensive survey of brewing technology of Nadashu in 1969 and "Nadashu, second series" in 1988 to make everyone know the brewing technology. Furthermore, SNSR established the Sake Quality Review Committee in 2010 to review and certify the quality of sake of "Nada-no-kiippon (Pure Nada sake)."
These research and technology development by the technical experts and researchers as well as technological exchanges through Nadashu-Kenkyukai have been playing a great role in preserving the characteristics of Nadagogo seishu that has well-harmonized elements of taste and good aftertaste, as well as further refining the quality.
Moreover, for the purpose of conducting an investigation of the flow path of groundwater and monitoring changes in the water quality, Nadagogo Shuzo Kumiai (Nadagogo Brewers Association) established the Nada District Groundwater Investigation Committee jointly with Kobe City in 1953 and also established the Miyamizu Preservation and Investigation Committee jointly with Nishinomiya City in 1954 to conduct the regular simultaneous analytical investigation of well water in winter and summer. Furthermore, in cooperation with Nadashu-Kenkyukai, Nadagogo Brewers Association, through the investigation and research on the influence of groundwater resulting from the building construction works, has been preserving the quality of groundwater in the area and studying on the water quality that features the characteristics of Nadagogo seishu.
Through these efforts to develop human resources and improve the brewing technology, as typified by Nadashu-Kenkyukai, in which private sector, public sector and the community come together, the characteristics of Nadagogo seishu, which has well-harmonized elements of taste and good aftertaste, have continuously come down to the present day. By introducing all-season usable brewing equipment that can reproduce temperature conditions for Kanzukuri (cold-weather brewing), etc., the characteristics of Nadagogo can be maintained throughout the year.
Ⅱ Matters relating to ingredients and production method of liquor
To use the geographical indication "Nadagogo," it is required to meet the following requirements:
- (a) Ingredients
- (1) Only domestically produced rice (limited to rice with a rating of grade 3 or higher under the Agricultural Products Inspection Act—Act No. 144 of 1951) shall be used for rice and rice-koji.
- (2) Only water collected in Nadagogo shall be used.
- (3) Ingredients for "seishu (sake)" stipulated in Item 7 of Article 3 of the Liquor Tax Act shall be used. Provided, however, that among the ingredients for sake stipulated in Article 2 of the Enforcement Order of the Liquor Tax Act, ingredients other than alcohol (limited to the case in which, among ingredients, the weight of alcohol does not exceed 25% of the weight of rice, including rice for koji) shall not be used.
- (b) Production method
- (1) Sake shall be produced in the Nadagogo area in accordance with the production method of sake stipulated in Item 7 of Article 3 of the Liquor Tax Act
- (2) If sake is stored during the production process, it shall be stored in the Nadagogo area.
- (3) Sake shall be filled in the container in the Nadagogo area, which is scheduled to be delivered to consumers.
Ⅲ Matters relating to management for maintaining the characteristics of liquor
(a) To use the geographical indication "Nadagogo," sake makers, before liquors 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 liquors (including a site regarded as the production site with a license of production liquors under the provisions of Paragraph 6 of Article 28 or 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 that the liquors with the geographical indication satisfy the "Matters relating to the characteristics of liquors mainly linked with the production area of the liquors" and the "Matters relating to ingredient and production method of liquor."
Name of Control Body: Nadagogo Brewers Association
Address:10-11 Mikage-honmachi 5-chome,
Kobe City, Hyogo Prefecture
(b) Where liquor that has been certified through the process described in (a) above intends to indicate that it is "Hiyaoroshi" together with a description signifying the geographical indication on the container or packaging of the liquor, it must be done so in accordance with the business application guidelines.
Ⅳ Matters relating liquor classes
Seishu /sake (Article 3, Item 7 of the Liquor Tax Act)