HATSUMOMIJI - YAMAGUCHI PREFECTURE
The Hatsumomidi brewery is located in Shunan (Yamaguchi Prefecture) on the Seto Sea. Founded in 1819, during the Edo period, it has been owned by the Harada family for 12 generations. Although it fell on hard times in the 1970s, it was reborn admirably in 2003 under the impetus of Yasuhiro Harada, becoming a "brewery of the four seasons". The idea is to offer customers new, fresh products throughout the year. The volumes produced annually are relatively small, in the region of 300 to 340 goku (54 to 62,000 litres). Hatsumomidi uses water from the Shikano spring in Kano, a little further north in the Chugoku mountains. This light, low mineral content water is the source of the famous Nishiki River. For the rice, only the Yamada Nishiki and Saito no Shizuku strains grown locally in Yamaguchi are used. Saito-no-Shizuku is a unique sake rice from Yamaguchi prefecture. It is produced by crossing Kokuryo Miyako and Saikai 222 (from Yamada Nishiki). Initially called Yamaguchi Sake Number 1, its cultivation is characterised by good resistance to collapse. Brewing trials have been underway since 2003, revealing its ability to add roundness and smoothness to sake. Since then, it has become a very popular and emblematic rice in Yamaguchi prefecture.