What is Ume?
UME is the Japanese plum or apricot. The history of the Ume tree can be found in some Chinese writing dating back 4000 years ago. To Japan, it is said to arrive from China some 2,000yrs ago in Yayoi Period.
Rich in mineral and alkaline it was used for medicinal purposes as well as to enjoy the flower blossom from around end of January, before the sakura season.
Today, there are many varieties with the most famous ‘Nanko-ume’ from Wakayama prefecture, which smells like peach. The picking season usually starts from the end of May onwards to June depending on whether young or ripe fruits are required. They are inedible on their own and can be made into umeboshi, umeshu, jam, jelly & syrup.
Our brewers mostly use ume plum from their local region to blend their plum wine, known as Umeshu for us.