Watari Bune is a story of passion, dedication and joy. Watari Bune is the name of the rice varietal used to make this sake. It is a rice strain that was used with great enthusiasm in the 1920’s and 30’s because of the wonderful sake it made. However, the rice stalks grew very tall and it harvested late in the year, in October. Typhoons destroyed the crops and bugs ate away at the “hanging fruit” before harvesting. Eventually, the farmers and sake brewers got tired of using this rice and stopped. Some sixty years later, Takaaki Yamauchi, 7th generation president and brewer of Huchu Homare brewery in Ibaraki learned of this great rice. He decided to pursue it, and pursue it he did. Eventually, in 1988, he tracked down seedlings that had been preserved, freeze-dried, by the Japanese government at their Agricultural Research Center. He started with 14 grams of seedlings and planted them in 1988. It wasn’t until three seasons later, in 1990, that he was able to brew his first batch of sake and create the Watari Bune brand. From there, it became a cult brand in Japan, with rave reviews in the sake press and the brewing community.
Watari Bune is the name of the rice used to make this sake. The brewery revived this rice strain after it had been extinct for sixty years. It took them three years before they had enough rice to brew their first batch of sake. It is now a cult favorite among sake aficionados.