On our way up, but still down in Walenstadt, we visited a micro distillery. I happen to enjoy some of their products from time to time and was curious to learn more about this early retired teacher who creates pieces of art. He ferments everything (contrary to what you get around the corner, where fruits are just mixed with alcohol and later distilled) and has a distillation apparatus that was designed by himself and allows distillation at reduced pressure. When you get there at his place, you would get a coffee, cheese and are invited to test whatever he has.
He has a well trained nose that is his only guide when distilling. In a sense, his craft is quite similar to perfumery. And like in perfumery, it matters very much what you put in. Here, is is critical what you put into the fermentation pot. Take cheap apples, and you will certainly feel the difference!
“Well then”, he replies on the question what he will do if some starting materials are not available anymore, “well, then there will be no schnaps. But this is the way it is. Nothing I can do about.” He is right, and I guess the same is true for perfumery. Things come and go. Most of the time, however, perfumes go because the clients don’t buy enough for modern marketing departments. Things come and go too fast these days.
So we bought the last! 1 litre bottle of a pear schnapps, that he made from fruits from trees that are cut down by now. Old, very old pear trees, unknown breed, maybe irreplaceable. There is an organization here in Switzerland, trying to save such old breeds that are at the edge of getting extinct, called “pro specie rara”, making sure that important genetic traits are conserved for future generations (website in D, F, I: http://www.prospecierara.ch/).
Prost, cheers, nastrovje!
(what comes out)