About the Event
Delicious as well as inspiring, Uka saké begins as organic heirloom rice on the Koda family farm in the San Joaquin Valley, California, before being brewed into saké at the Ninki Shuzō brewery in Fukushima. Owner Ross Koda created Uka saké to honor his grandfather’s vision and strengthen US-Japanese ties. Join us to learn about this Japanese-American family’s journey of sake making as well as how sake has evolved in the U.S.
About the Speakers
As the third-generation president of Koda Farms in South Dos Palos, California, Ross Koda considers strengthening the cultural relationships between Japan and the USA a cornerstone of his life’s work. At Koda Farms, he blends over 90 years of Japanese-American rice farming tradition with modern, innovative, organic farming methods. To further add to his family’s legacy in rice, Ross also serves as the CEO & Founder of Omurasaki Beverage Company. In this role, he imports back to the USA his own elegant line of organic junmai daiginjo known as Uka Sake, which is brewed in Fukushima, Japan from the organic rice grown at Koda Farms.
Michael John Simkin
Michael John Simkin is a certified Level III Saké Educator for the Wine & Spirit Education Trust
(WSET), an organization for whom he was instrumental in adding saké to the curriculum. With 20 years of experience in the sake industry, Michael has taught sake courses to distributors’ and importers’ sales teams across the USA. He has judged the sake portion at the International Wine Challenge (IWC) in London, and most recently, he judged the Fine Sake Awards competition in Tokyo in 2023.