My first Korean Winery Tour – Sami Inju Makgeolli in Jeongsan! I was on the inaugural tour and participated in the ribbon cutting! This rice wine is not available in the United States yet, because it only has a 30 day shelf life once manufactured. The Cheongsan Noksu Makgeolli Winery in Jangseong, South Korea specializes in making Sami Inju Makgeolli 사미인주 막걸리, a rice wine with honey. Interestingly enough, the distillery is in a converted elementary school.
We had the privilege of learning from Professor Kim Jin Man, the CEO of Cheongsan Noksu and the Director of Brewing Science and Technology Research Center at the Chonnam National University. Before the tour, we sampled the Sami Inju Makgeolli, partnered with fresh vegetables and a special bean paste made from the rice and yeast used during the brewing process.
Professor Kim Jin Man explained the distillation process, the aging process, and showed us how the large Nuruk (누룩) cakes are made with rice, wheat, and barley. These cakes are stored in an ondol room until mold begins to form so that the nuruk can be used as a fermentation starter in the makgeolli wine. We learned that the Sami Inju Makgeolli is made from 100% Jangseong rice. Not only does this increase the quality of the makgeolli, but using local rice products also improves the economics in the region. In addition to organic rice, Sami Inju uses honey to sweeten the wine instead of aspartame or other artificial sweeteners in order to reduce hangovers.

Brewery: Cheongsan Noksu Co., Ltd.
444-1 Baekgye-ri, Jangseong-eup, Jangseong-gun
Makgeolli Type: Raw Makgeolli
Shelf Life: 30 days from date of manufacture