The Prestiges Kura was initially founded after a visiting Daimyo to the Shonai region took notice of the exceptional water sources there and recommended the founder of the brewery (Heishiro 1st) to begin sake production.
The name Tatenokawa translates as Castle Stream. It is an elaboration of the former name of the local mountains Tateyama (castle mountains), a region that was sprinkled with castles in former times. The brewery is located on a low land plain facing the Sea of Japan on one side and sections of green mountains on the other side. The climate and the land conditions there are ideal for making fine sake, having an abundance of excellent rice fields on the plains, while receiving an endless supply of pristine spring water from nearby mountains Chokkaisan and Gassan.
Tatenokawa follows the lead of 6th generation family owner Jumpei Sato'. Under his calm direction the brewery produce some of the finest sake of Western Japan. Since 2010 they have been making only Junmai Daiginjo. This new direction in their sake production was a way of simplifying sake as a whole to the consumer who might feel overwhelmed by the myriad of sake brewing styles available. The other reasons behind the Junmai Daiginjo path was to emphasise premium quality and to obtain specialised knowledge of this sake style. This has enabled Tatenokawa to take Junmai Daiginjo to new, unknown heights and diversity.
Takeshi Sato the current Toji (Brewmaster) achieves an astonishing variety of character in his sake, given the thought that all Tatenokawa sake is Junmai Daiginjo, which is made with primarily two different yeast types and two different rice strains. These factors are not limitations as one might think. Sato san manages to produce an array of complex, flavor profiles, based on brewing skill. The importance of carful rice polishing and charcoal filtration becomes amplified in his output of fine Junmai Daiginjo.
For most of their sake production, they use two local rice verities Dewasansan and Miyama Nishiki. Although Tatenokawa is not certified organic, most of the sake rice that they receive from their famers in Shonai is made without pesticides and chemical fertilisers. It takes a lot of skill and experience to grow sake rice this way, in part because the sake rice grains are larger than table rice grains which makes them more prone invasion by natural pests.
For more info - tatenokawa.jp