Although “ginjo” quite simply refers to a level of premium sake, it is a powerful word in the sake world that means so much more. The advent of ginjo ushered in the modern sake era. Sakes had been graded using a more basic system because sakes were not as sophisticated. However, with the development of different yeasts, polishing rice, and more, ginjo was born.
Although ginjo is a level of premium sake and ginjo and junmai ginjo are simply referred to as “ginjo,” “ginjo” is often used to refer to ginjo and daiginjo levels. “Ginjo-ka,” “ka” meaning flavor and aroma, is a sake tasting description for sake being bright, lively, fruity, and aromatic.
The simple definition of “ginjo” and “junmai ginjo” is sake that is made with rice that is polished to 60% or less.