Haikara is produced at Umenoyado located in Nara, Japan considered the birthplace of sake because its cold winters are ideal for making good sake. Umenoyado has been producing traditional Japanese sake in this same location since 1893 by a team of Tojis who have been creating sake for generations. Haikara uses all local ingredients: water, rice and fresh fruits which are artfully combined in small batches. Each batch has its own characteristics which must be balanced to create each delicious bottle of Haikara.
Haikara is produced by a team of Tojis at Umenoyado which has been brewing sake in the traditional manner for five generations. We have a distinctive brewing method, producing small, high quality batches in a traditional way but with the spirit of challenging those traditions to create new kinds of sake. Our attention to detail has paid off, winning various awards including more than ten gold medals at the most prestigious sake competition in Japan, the Zenkoku Shinsu Kanpayo Kai as well as Robert Parker in the U.S.
Rice is of course an essential ingredient in sake making. We start with high quality rice that is grown locally in the Hyogo Prefecture and harvested using traditional methods. We create a beautiful Junmai sake using our own time proven methods.
Yuzu is a Japanese citrus fruit which adds a bright nose and a refreshing, tart flavor to Haikara. Like all of our ingredients, the yuzu fruits are selected for quality and ripeness from local farmers in Shokoku and Kyushu. Because our production method includes more natural yuzu juice content the sensation and prominence of this flavor is heightened in Haikara.
Haikara Momo is made with white peaches which are grown with extra care in Wakayama and Yamanashi. Each Momo fruit is covered by a bag to protect the delicate soft white skin while it ripens to perfection. A momo is generally larger and softer than western peaches and has been cultivated in Japan for millenniums, dating as far back as 4400 BC. The Momo flavor provides a delicate and elegant sweetness that beautifully complements the sake.
Yeast, koji, and water from Mt. Yamato Katsuragi are used to break down the rice into simple sugars which are then fermented. It is this nearly magical process that begins to turn grains of rice into sake. The “roughly mashed” fruits are then added to the sake and tested for balance and flavor. The result is a fruit sake with a higher alcohol content and a clean, crisp, bright flavor ready to be sipped on the rocks, enjoyed with food or in a cocktail.
Because we set out to create a beautiful, innovative sake we wanted the bottle to be as notable as its contents. We worked for many months with designers in New York and artisan producers in Japan to create beautiful custom bottles for Haikara. The clear textured glass allows the soft fruit colors to shine through.
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Haikara is produced at Umenoyado in Nara Prefecture in Japan where we have been producing traditional Japanese sake since 1893. The name Umenoyado is a reference to ‘home of plum trees’ because each spring Japanese bush warblers return to the 300-year-old plum trees in the garden outside our window to sing their elegant songs and enjoy the delicious plums. With these warbler songs emanating from an ancient plum tree in our garden we produce a special sake to be enjoyed throughout the world.