Winter is a busy time for sake producers. At Chiyo no Kame brewery in Uchiko, Ehime, the staff of young labourers and older craftsmen are busy around the clock in the freezing cold chambers of the old ‘kura’ — the brewery. Rice grown in the summer is milled to various sizes according to the quality of the sake desired, then steamed and combined with carefully nurtured rice mould. The prepared rice is dropped through a hatch into tanks of Uchiko’s pure water below, where it ferments into sake, which is squeezed from the rice using a traditional press. Everything is done painstakingly by hand, and the workers must pay constant attention to hygiene to prevent the sake being spoiled by unwanted microorganisms. The first pressings of the new sake before pasteurization have a lively, effervescent taste.