The IWA sake is actually a French initiative. In 2018, Dom Pérignon's former cellar master, Richard Geoffroy, decided to leave the Champagne region behind and start a new adventure: high-quality Japanese sake. As a japanophile since 1991, Richard had always thought that Japanese sake had to broaden its horizon and make itself known outside the borders of the island. For him, local producers need a more global approach if they want to communicate about the quality of their spirits, the beauty of their terroirs and the richness of their culture.
IWA is made using three different varieties of fermented sake rice: Yamada Nishiki, Omachi and Gohyakumangoku. This ultra premium sake, one can drink cold or hot, is prepared by "touji" (the local "cellar masters") in a "kura" (the Japanese word used to describe a production house) located in Shiraiwa, on the Tateyama commune (Toyama prefecture, in the west of Japan). Shiraiwa houses a 10 hectares rice field. This location was specifically selected by Richard for its beauty, giving the sake its name: "IWA", or "stone" in Japanese.