How we started
Otaki-machi, in Chiba Prefecture, a town located near the center of Boso Peninsula, where nature and history coexist. It is a castle town, also known as “Boso’s Ko-Edo”, and the mitosaya herbal garden distillery is located within the vast forest of this rich green area.
Originally, this place had a botanical garden specializing in herbs. The Chiba Prefectural Medicinal Plant was founded in 1987, and planted about 500 kinds of medicinal plants on the site which has an area of 16,000 ㎡. With more than 500 kinds of herbal medicine specimens, it was operated to disseminate correct knowledge about medicinal plants. After that, the herb garden was transferred to Otaki-cho, and at the end of 2015 it ended its role and was closed.
In the meantime, Eguchi, who is head of mitosaya, studied distillation techniques under the distilling house Christoph Keller at Stählemühle, a distillery in southern Germany. Founded in 2005, with its rich natural environment and Christoph Keller’s avid research, Stählemühle innovated in the world of traditional fruit brandy and herbal spirits, until it closed in 2018. Returning to Japan in 2016, Eguchi went around the country looking for a place to produce distilled liquor from Japanese fruits and plants.
As you may know, Japan has great fruit and plant production areas from the south to the north, each with their own personality. It was under such circumstances that he found these herb garden ruins. The vegetated plants, include plants that can become ingredients for traditional Chinese and herbal medicines, and ingredients for aroma and dyes, as well as grow into fruit trees and vegetables.It is an ideal environment to produce distilled liquor from such ingredients. We leased the old herb garden site from Otaki-cho and named this place “mitosaya botanical distillery”.
We renovated the herb garden facilities and obtained a brewer’s license in November 2018 as a distillery to produce Eau De Vie, using the plants grown on-premises as well as excellent fruits from all over Japan as the ingredients.
At mitosaya, each step of distilled liquor making, including processing, brewing, and distillation is done with a great deal of care. The wide variety of plants are not only cultivated by us. Sometimes they are harvested from partner farms or orchards, and sometimes we go into the mountains and find wild plants in nature. We believe that a richer taste can be extracted by using ingredients which are as close to nature as possible.
In addition, we actively use ingredients that have never been used for distilled liquor, to create our distilled liquor and products.
All of this is done with the idea that we want to bring out the essence of fruits and plants with a high level of purity and fragrance.
In addition to Europe, which is the home of Eau De Vie, we plan to aggressively expand overseas including to Asia.
Eau De Vie
that is called water of life
Eau De Vie is a distilled liquor made from fruits and grains, and it means “water of life” in French.
In particular, distilled spirits made from fruits are called Eau De Vie de Fruits.
It is made by fermenting and distilling pears, grapes, apples, and other fruits multiple times, into a distilled liquor which is not sweet when you drink it but the aroma of fruit arises from it. It is a clear and strong spirit (like gin and vodka).
For example, it is much more subtle than gin or vodka. Imagine a more complex, farm-to-table version. To define it simply, you could say that Eau De Vie is (mostly) un-aged fruit brandy. In Europe, it is traditionally used as a pre-dinner and after-dinner drink, but in recent years it has been widely used as a ingredients for cocktails, for cooking and dessert accents, etc.
Based on the goal of “creating with small discoveries from nature”, we aim for rich expressions that are not limited to distilled spirits.
Using the “mi” and “saya”
The name of mitosaya comes from the Japanese for “fruit and pod”. It comes from the symbol of fruitfulness, the “fruit” and the outer canopy, the “pod”.
We use everything and all things from nature, so to speak. Not only fruit, but leaves, roots, seeds and bushes,with the idea of creating something that can only be done here in this place.
In addition, the parts called heads and tails created in the process of distillation, and parts that have traditionally not been used such as moromi created after distillation, are actively utilized.
Company Name: mitosaya inc.
Address: 486 Otaki Otaki-machi, Isumi, Chiba 298-0216 Japan (ACCESS)
Representative Director: Hiroshi Eguchi
Established: December 2016
Capital: 30 million yen (August 2018)
License: Brandy license