<Interim translation>

 Matters relating the characteristics of liquor which is essentially attributable to its geographical origin

  • (a) Characteristics of liquor
    • (1) Sensory factor
       "Umeshu" is a liquor made by steeping ume (plum) fruit in liquor to extract the essence of the fruit and adding saccharides, etc. to adjust the flavor.
       Wakayama Umeshu, a umeshu brand, has a rich, thick aroma of fresh unripe green ume or fully ripened ume picked within Wakayama Prefecture, which wraps the piquant aroma of alcohol in liquor and spreads in the mouth as a refreshing flavor. The full bodied essence of ume melted into alcohol harmonizes with the sweetness and taste of liquor, allowing a complex and strong flavor to be felt. The relatively long-lasting pleasing aftertaste thanks to the moderate sweet taste of saccharides and the sourness of ume tunes the sense of taste and smell and thus complements the flavor of the next food to eat, which is also perfect as an aperitif.
    • (2) Chemical factors
       Wakayama Umeshu meets the following requirements in terms of alcoholic content, total acid level, and extracted component and also includes one with effervescence.
      • (ⅰ) Alcoholic content of 10.0% to less than 35.0%
      • (ⅱ) Total acid level of at least 3.5 g/L
      • (ⅲ) Extracted component of at least 100 g/L
  • (b) Essential attribution of its geographical origin to characteristics of liquor
    • (1) Natural factors
       Wakayama Prefecture is located in the west side of Kii Peninsula, with mountains accounting for approximately 80% of the area. The prefecture faces the sea on its west side, from the Inland Sea of Japan (the Seto Naikai) to the Pacific Ocean, while the Kii Mountains extending from the north to the south on the east side of the prefecture have many areas where the sea is close at hand, forming strata rich in minerals, which is suitable for growing quality ume across the mountainous area.
       Wakayama Prefecture also has a warm climate due to warm winds from the sea, along with a heavy annual rainfall, frequently landed typhoons during summer, as well as little flat terrain, which leaves many areas unsuitable for rice cultivation and therefore people have actively been engaged in fruit growing. In particular, ume grows efficiently even in poor land with many slopes, can be picked around June before the typhoon season, and requires heavy rainfall as an essential factor for the ume fruit to grow larger, which led the growing of ume to spread mainly in Tanabe City and Minabe Town as a right fruit tree for the prefecture.
    • (2) Human factors
       Wakayama Prefecture is also a great place for producing fermented food, such as Kinzanji-miso and Yuasa soy-sauce, since old times and has many manufacturers of liquor including seishu. Following a rice crop, a sake ingredient, sake manufacturers are busy from winter to spring with low temperatures which is suited for brewing sake, but are not busy from spring to summer and thus needed to secure sources of income and improve productivity during this period.
       In addition, although ume picked in Wakayama Prefecture was previously processed and eaten as umeboshi (pickled ume) as the main use, the demand for umeboshi decreased due to a shift in consumers' tastes, which made the development of a new use of ume necessary.
       In such a circumstance, Wakayama Prefecture, the largest production center of ume fruit in Japan, came up with an idea of producing umeshu made from ume, which can be picked during the time sake manufacturers are not busy; the idea solved the issues of both ume fruit producers and sake manufacturers, resulting in active manufacture of umeshu in the prefecture while inventing ume growing methods assuming that it will be used as a umeshu ingredient and ume processed food, improving ume quality, and so on.
       With the establishment of the "Minabe-Tanabe Ume System" (enhanced pollination of honey bees, improved training and pruning techniques, use of a harvesting net, etc.), which was certified as the Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems (GIAHS) in 2015, and other initiatives, the prefecture has also been developing and accumulating cultivation techniques for stably growing quality ume as a umeshu ingredient.
       In addition, Wakayama Prefecture has been developing the manufacture of umeshu across the entire region, including Tanabe City and Minabe Town, which were designated as a special deregulation zones in 2008, and striving to improve the techniques including umeshu manufacturing and storage methods through technical guidance provided by official appraisers from Taxation Bureaus.
       In this way, Wakayama Prefecture, which has stably producing ume, has been maintaining and forming the characteristics of "Wakayama Umeshu" through advancing umeshu-related research and initiatives as a united effort of umeshu manufacturers, ume farmers, and the prefecture.

 Matters relating to ingredients and production method of liquor

  • (a) Ingredients
    • (1) Only fresh unripe green ume or fully ripened ume picked within Wakayama Prefecture must be used as the ume fruit steeped in liquor.
      • (Note 1) Fresh unripe green ume refers to ume fruit that has been thinned out from ume trees (not including one with fractures or cut or one that was squeezed or condensed) and has the fruit skin with tone and luster and with a color of blue-green to yellowish green (including one in purple and red depending on the breed).
      • (Note 2) Fully ripened ume refers to one with the softened flesh and yellow- to orange-colored fruit skin (including one in purple and red depending on the breed).
    • (2) The only seishu, continuous distilled shochu, single distilled shochu, whisky, brandy, material alcohol, or sprits, specified in Article 3-7, 3-9, 3-10, 3-15, 3-16, 3-17, or 3-20 of the Liquor Tax Act respectively (including a mix of these liquor) must be used as the liquor in which ume fruit is steeped.
    • (3) The only ingredients other than the liquor and ume fruit must be the ones listed below:
        Ume flesh, ume juice, saccharides, saccharated matter (excluding synthetic sweeteners), and carbonic acid
  • (b) Production Method
    • (1) At least 300 kg of ume fruit must be used for each 1 kl of liquor in which to steep.
    • (2) Ume fruit must be steeped into liquor within Wakayama Prefecture.
    • (3) Ume fruit must be steeped into liquor for at least 90 days.
    • (4) Ume fruit must not intentionally be crushed or squeezed in the liquor in which it is steeped.
    • (5) Ume fruit taken out from the liquor in which it has been steeped must not be used for making umeshu again.
    • (6) In the process of sake brewing, sake must be stored within Wakayama Prefecture.
    • (7) Bottling shall be completed with containers planned to be delivered to consumers within Wakayama Prefecture.

 Matters relating to management for maintaining the characteristics of liquor

  • (a) Requirements for Use of Geographical Indication "和歌山梅酒(Wakayama Umeshu)"
     In order to use geographical indication (GI) "Wakayama Umeshu," the liquor that uses the GI is required to be confirmed by the following control body pursuant to guidelines for work implementation, prepared by the control body as to whether the relevant liquor satisfies "1. Matters related to characteristics of liquor attributable to the geographical origin of liquor" and "2. Matters relating the ingredients and production method of liquor" by the time the relevant liquor is shipped to places (excluding places subject to the provision of Article 28, paragraph 1, of the Liquor Tax Act) from its brewing place (including places deemed as brewing places with the permit to produce liquor by the provisions of Article 28, paragraph 6 or Article 28-3, paragraph 4 of the Liquor Tax Act [Act No. 6 of 1953])
  • (b) Name of Control Body, Name of Representative, and Address and Contact of Main Office
    • (1) Name of control body:
        GI Wakayama Umeshu Management Committee
    • (2) Name of representative:
        Yukio Nakano
    • (3) Address
        16 Saikayamachi, Wakayama
    • (4) Contact:
        Telephone: 073-431-8689
        Mail address: gi.wakayama.umeshu@gmail.com
  • (c) Requirements for Use of Term, "長期熟成 (Matured or Long Aged)"
     In order to use the term "matured or long aged" together with the use of geographical indication "Wakayama Umeshu," the umeshu must be the one that has been aged for at least seven years pursuant to guidelines for work implementation and must be certified by the control body in advance.
     Note that when blending multiple umeshu, the least aged one must meet the requirements.

 Matters relating liquor classes

 Liqueur(Article 3, Item 21 of the Liquor Tax Act)