Talk about sake
KoshitanreiMany people think of sake brewed in Niigata Prefecture as having a refreshing, light and delicate taste. This is said to be largely due to the prefecture’s main sake rice, Gohyakumangoku. Unfortunately, Gohyakumangoku is not suitable for high-polishing, so Yamadanishiki, the king of sake rice, is mainly used for daiginjoshu. However, Yamadanishiki is difficult to grow in cold regions, therefore sake breweries in Niigata used rice produced in other prefectures. With that background, the sake brewers in Niigata had eagerly wanted for years to brew daiginjoshu using local sake rice comparable to Yamadanishiki.
To achieve this, the Niigata Agricultural Research Institute, the Niigata Prefectural Sake Research Institute and the Niigata Sake Brewers Association started joint development. After spending 15 years, Koshitanrei was born in 2004. The mother is Yamadanishiki, and the father is Gohyakumangoku, both of which are grandchildren of Omachi. Inheriting the merits of each parent, Koshitanrei is a large grain, has a low brown rice protein content, and can be polished to less than 50%. It is also adaptable to Niigata, and even though it is cultivated only in the prefecture, the production in 2018 ranked 10th in Japan. Furthermore, it is attractive for its wide range of use, from ordinary sake to daiginjoshu. The sake using Koshitanrei features a light, delicate and refreshing aroma, with a soft and full taste by bringing out a different flavor from Gohyakumangoku and Yamadanishiki, which eventually won the trust of sake brewers. Expectations are growing for its further contribution to sake brewing in Niigata. (Photo by: NIIGATA SAKE BREWERS ASSOCIATION, Niigata Prefectural Government）