All of our water is well water.
There is one well outside, and two wells inside our brewery. Apparently there was long ago one more well outside.
Both the amount of water and the quality of the water are stable, and long ago brewers from far away would come to get water to brew their daiginjo. (Naturally we gave it to them for free!)
I believe that water is the foundation for good sake.
In terms of what contributes the most to the final flavor of a sake, I do not think it is the rice. Rather, I believe that it is the water that contributes the most to the quality of a sake. Next is the yeast, and after that is the rice.
Or course, one cannot compromise on the quality of any of these, and it is important to have quality ingredients in all three areas. But, if one must assign a priority to them, I believe it is as expressed above.
If the quality of the water at the beginning of the brewing process were to differ by 0.01mm, after it goes through the yeast-starter, the fermenting mash, and final pressing, the difference in the final product would be several hundred meters.
In recent years we have finally gained an awareness of the importance of the environment. And, as anyone who has drunk city tap water understands, once the quality of a water source has been affected, nothing can be done to bring it back to its original state.
It is common knowledge that lumbering near the upper reaches of rivers is affecting the life of living things in the ocean. In the same way, if water from deep within the ground were to change in quality, who knows what the effect would be on the organisms that affect the flavor and fragrance of nihonshu.
I feel great admiration today for the generations and generations of my predecessors that have wisely over the years carefully protected the water and passed it down to me.
I feel that now I have a great responsibility to protect, help to grow, and pass on in a good condition this environment to the next generation.
Good water is used of course for brewing, but also makes can be used in tea, coffee, and cooking to enhance the quality of the other materials, and accent a seasonal touch to things, adding a touch of beauty.