Iga, Japan



( Culture ) Now, into Unexplored Territory
The Maturation of Japanese Sake

Now, into Unexplored Territory-/-The Maturation of Japanese Sake

Stagnation of Aged Sake due to the New Sake Philosophy

Unlike wine and whiskey, whose value is naturally enhanced by aging, new sake has been the norm when it comes to drinking Japanese sake.

Highly sensitive to temperature changes and direct sunlight, it is difficult to preserve in quality, and aging it requires advanced techniques and cost. Water and rice, the main ingredients of sake, are delicate in taste, and while it is made by carefully brewing those delicate flavors, is said to deteriorate extremely quickly after only an hour of exposure to sunlight. Therefore, while a number of breweries have attempted to age sake, there is no accumulated expertise in this area.

New Challenges in Sake Maturation Technology

That being said, there is a gradual movement giving it a try. Not only has technology advanced to the point where sake is ready to be matured, there is also a growing interest in exploring new possibilities for sake in the face of declining consumption, and VINTAGIENCE has been at the forefront, experimenting with sake aging for roughly 40 years before this movement ever emerged.

By testing and monitoring various storage temperatures and environments—from icy cold temperatures to low temperatures and room temperature—we accumulate data on the optimal conditions needed for vintage sake, which are then applied to the maturation of sake and its variety of qualities. We continue to embrace this challenge under the pressure that failure would ultimately result in wasting the sake itself, not to mention the huge amount of time and money invested in this endeavor.

This maturation process challenges the unknown, and opens up new tastes for sake, which has long been cultivated through history and tradition.