To be precise, the Maria Theresia Distilling Right has been directly linked to the Huber farm for centuries, ever since the time of the great Austrian empress. But this distilling right is and has always been restricted with a few limitations, specifically regarding distillation. The farmers have always only been allowed to distil fruit. “Hands off the grains & the rest” was the requirement to keep the farmers from giving preference to distilled goods over baked goods and burdening their families with the work of distilling schnapps instead of providing them with bread.
The certified fine brandy sommelier with refined sensory training therefore prefers to buy fruit in tonnes rather than in kilograms. 1,000kg of fresh cherries arrive at the farm, or 1,500kg of fresh Wachau apricots, then another 1,000kg of pears, apples and raspberries. The fruits of passion and fruitfulness. The distillation process is very precise, to ensure that no forbidden products result.
The first step includes an extremely strict quality check. All fruits are individually hand-selected and sorted by hand. Mould, fruit rot etc. are totally unacceptable. Then the fruit is mashed. This extremely clean process takes place according to strict hygiene regulations. The mash is then fermented for about 14 days until it reaches an alcohol content of around 3-5%.
During the distillation process, which takes about 2.5 hours, a distillate with an alcohol content of approx. 75% is produced. In the process, the first batch, that is the first tranche of the distillate is “turned off”. (Small insider’s tip: this batch is perfect for streak-free window cleaning.) The middle batch or the centrepiece is, so to speak, the best of the best, and what makes a perfect fine brandy. The final batch is usually referred to as “fusel”, a substandard product which is often given away.
Altogether, a fruit distillate contains 13 different alcohols that ultimately balance out to create a fine aroma and balanced taste experience.
As the name suggests. It all depends on the on-point landing. And Franz has spent many years fiddling about with his flagship product to develop it to perfection. Quite a lot of juniper berries and 13 secret herbs are distilled with the base seed and then subjected to a longer period of storage before the barrel-aged brew is poured into bottles.
Fruit brandies, on the other hand, are ready to drink straight away. Every year, Franz junior now produces over 700L of ready-to-drink fine brandies in his distillery, which are available for tasting both in the hotels GLÖCKNERIN and TAUERNHERZ and Restaurant Herzenslust at any time.