Niigata, terroir and gastronomy
Flavours to share
Discover Koshihikari rice
Niigata is one of the main farmers of Koshihikari rice, the most popular variety in the country. The water enriched with nutrients from the mountains at the time of snowmelt and the wide temperature range between the sowing and harvesting periods give this variety its unique taste, the reason for its success.
Niigata is renowned for its considerable fishery resources. The water from the snowmelt joins the rivers in spring and feeds excellent plankton in the two major rivers of the region: the Shinano and the Agano. Nutrients are also consumed by local fish, particularly small fish and whitefish, whose many species are highly prized for their refined flavour.
At the heart of the best sake in the world
Niigata and its exceptional climate
Located in the heart of a luxuriant nature, Niigata enjoys many bodies of water such as the Sea of Japan, or the rivers Shinano and Agano. The vast fertile plain of Echigo offers a varied agricultural production, the cultivation of rice making Niigata the first rice producer in Japan. A kingdom of gastronomy with an area of rice fields unequalled in Japan and a terroir of exceptional quality source of exceptional flavours, Niigata is famous for the quality of its rice and sake, as well as for the unique architecture of its houses, adapted to a way of life constrained by the very heavy snowfalls of the region. It is also the port of embarkation for Sado Island.
In the craft creation of sake of the highest quality, heavy rainfall is one of the determining factors, for 3 distinct reasons :
- - snow melts and runoff water creates large, pristine rice fields, one of the purest rice growing environments in the world.
- - this pure water from the cast iron is also an essential component of the brewing process, because water is - together with rice - the main ingredient in sake.
- - the purity of the winter air allows the brewing process to take place in a healthy atmosphere, without any pollutant likely to alter the quality of sake.