The Kobe Shinbun Next site has a report on a Geographical Indication (GI) for the famous sake-producing area of Nada.
The National Tax Agency decided to award the designation to protect the reputation of the area bounded by the east of Nada Ward, Kobe City and neighbouring Nishinomiya City, historically known as Nada Gogō (灘五郷, the five villages of Nada).
All 27 breweries affiliated with the Nada Gogō Brewers' Association applied for the GI. As of noon on 28 June 2018, only sake brewed or bottled inside that area can describe itself as from Nada Gogō. Using the geographical name on a product that does not come from the area will first incur a warning and cease-and-desist, and if that is not observed the offender can be fined.
This is the third Japanese GI for sake: the first was awarded to the prefecture of Yamagata, and the second to the area of Hakusan in Ishikawa Prefecture.
The article describes GI as a system for ensuring the quality of alcohol or agricultural products produced by a region. The geographical area, characteristics, production methods and other factors are defined as part of the GI. Nada has both a cold winter wind, known as Rokkō-oroshi, and water sources comparatively rich in minerals by Japanese standards. These natural factors produce sake known for its excellent balance of flavour and short, sharp finish. Researchers are also studying the brewing techniques passed down by the local guild of master brewers, the Tanba tōji.
Hyōgo already has other GIs for agricultural products, granted in December 2015 for Kobe beef and Tajima cattle.
- Original article (Japanese, Kobe Shinbun Next, 28 June 2018)