Old fruit trees in a healthy landscape - that’s all Valentin Latschen needs to feed his distillery.
Valentin Latschen refines old Carinthian fruits to singular brandies.
On a Carinthian farm, close to the monastery St. Paul, apples are harvested. Here, straightforward people harvest apples using a staff to shake them from the trees. The apples rain down on laughing children who wait beneath the branches to get hit by one of the fruits.
Apple juice is pressed in ancient machines in an outbuilding nearby. Latschen buys old, rare, fruity apple varieties with lots of tannin and distills schnapps. He distills his spirit in a double distillation process. This is the best way to conserve the fruitiness and the most complicated and expensive procedure as well. You need to use all your senses to smell and taste, you need to know your fruits, their acidity and tannin, but most importantly the right moment.
Apple, pear, plum, apricot, quince and even a beer liquor which is produced together with the genius microbrewery Schleppe, bring full taste. Latschen says that the amount of tannin and how it is processed is the most important factor for the taste of a distillate.
Latschen’s unique signature convinces - the almost dramatic emphasis on the fruit that puts the alcohol – more than 40 percent nonetheless – into the background. Even the oak barrels that are normally used to develop heavy red wines don’t dominate Latschen’s distillates, but instead do refine the drink with delicate flavor. What Latschen can do can’t be learned.