The best fruit
The first step in making a fruit distillate is the selection of the right fruit. Whether it be apples or pears, only fruit of the highest quality is used for our Eau de Vie.
Fruit from nearby orchards in the Green Heart region are collected and manually selected. For apple distillate a mix of apple varieties is used, including Golden Delicious, Elstar, Welland and Jonagold. During selection special attention is paid to ripeness and taste. Then the fruit is chopped up and inspected further. Apples have its cores removed as well. This method of manual selection allows us to guarantee the highest quality of our product. Also, a strict inspection is necessary since we only use pesticide free fruit for our fruit distillates.
From fruit to juice
Fruit juice is needed for making a fruit distillate. The selected and inspected fruit is turned into juice through a three step process specially designed to minimize loss of flavour.
Firstly, the chopped up fruit is crushed in a fruit mill. The juice released during this process gives a first indication of the flavour and taste of our fruit distillate. Secondly, the crushed fruit is broken down further with the use of enzymes. A specific enzyme is used to break down the cell walls and turn fibre into fermentable sugars. This way a biological process is used to not only increase the amount of fruit juice, but also to extract more fruit flavour. Finally, the fruit pulp is pressed and filtered off. The result is a fruit juice with a sweet aroma of fruit sugar.
Through the addition of yeast to the fruit juice sugar is converted into alcohol. This process is called fermentation. A successful fermentation is essential to making a distillate, which is why we use a carefully selected type of yeast.
Fermentation takes place in closed barrels in a climate controlled room. It is important to us to obtain an efficient conversion of sugar into alcohol, as well as to conserve the flavour of the fruit. When the fermentation is finished the yeast sinks to the bottom and is separated from the fermented juice. The result is a fruit wine with a relatively low alcohol concentration ready for distillation.
With our specially designed still we turn fruit wine into Eau de Vie. All our Eau de Vie is distilled twice, creating a balance between purity and preservation of flavour.
The first distillation results in an alcohol percentage of approximately 30%. This distillate is then matured during which it develops a smooth taste and flavour. Then, it is distilled again after which an increased alcohol percentage of approximately 60% is obtained. After the second distillation the distillate has a more pure taste. We can now call it Eau de Vie.
For the production of Walvados we mature Eau de Vie on oak cask. During maturation a beautiful golden colour and great flavour are formed.
All our barrels are made from Hungarian oak and are specially imported for the distillery. Walvados is an Eau de vie made from apples, which has matured on cask for at least half a year.
During the final preparation the sweetness and alcohol concentration of the fruit distillate are adjusted.
For Eau de Vie the alcohol concentration is reduced to 33% using pure mineral water. Sugar is added sparingly to add sweetness. Our distillates are characterized by relatively little sweetness and lots of flavour.