The word terroir is mainly used to describe characteristics imparted into wine from the climate, topography, soil, and human factors of the vineyard where the wine and its ingredients originate. Derived from the French word terre (land, terrain, or soil), the term has become commonplace in the global alcohol market. It is also increasingly being used to describe sake.
In 2010, the OIV (International Organization of Vine and Wine) defined the viticultural terroir as “a concept which refers to an area in which collective knowledge of the interactions between the identifiable physical and biological environment and applied vitivinicultural practices develops, providing distinctive characteristics for the products originating from this area.”
In the case of sake, the raw ingredient, rice, is often sourced from remote areas because it can be stored for a long time and is easy to transport. Strictly speaking, this fact is why some people consider the use of the term terroir for sake inappropriate. However, the work we are doing in this project to identify and enhance the value of nurturing sake brands rooted in the “land” is essentially the crux of the aforementioned-definition by the OIV. That is why we will refer to it as the “Terroir Branding of Sake.”