Former chef de cave for Dom Perignon, Richard Geoffrey, has long held a great love for Japan and its culture, so for him it was an easy and natural change from Champagne to Sake. Using his blending (or assemblage) skills, IWA Sake 5 is a blend of three different rice varieties: Yamada Nishiki, Omachi, and Gohyakumangoku.
IWA 5 has its origins in a rice paddy at the site of Shiraiwa, in the town of Tateyama, which also inspired the name of the product. Shiraiwa means ‘white rock’, and IWA means ‘rock’. The five elements also referenced in the name, are rice, yeast, origin of the rice, the yeast propagation method (moto) and the regimes of fermentation.
Shiraiwa lies between mountain foothills and arable flatland, with access to pure local water straight from the rooftop of Japan, amid some of the heaviest snowfall in the world.
To craft Sake, rice has to be polished, washed, soaked, steamed, cooled, inverted, mashed, fermented and pressed. When making IWA 5, there isn’t a standard recipe, but rather a scientific experimentation that changes every year. The aim with IWA 5 is to create an internationally renowned Sake, while still staying true to Japanese tradition and methods.