Discover Germany | Wine & Dine | Brennerei Hubertus Vallendar
TEXT: MARILENA STRACKE I PHOTOS: BRENNEREI HUBERTUS VALLENDAR
A modern alchemist Hubertus Vallendar is truly a man of pleasure. His passion for distillery and his never-ceasing curiosity to also try unconventional recipes, continue to spur on the famous distiller. Pioneer spirit in a bottle, so to speak – for over 20 years already. Hubertus Vallendar never approaches things half-heartedly. When he gets to work on something, the creative powerhouse aims straight for the top and reaches it effortlessly. The state-of-the-art Bauhaus-style distillery in Kail at the Moselle, is a place where Vallendar can reinvent himself over and over again. To give heart and soul is the foundation for every task. He sees his profession as a form of art: and rightly so. Initially, Vallendar trained as a carpenter before he started constructing innovative distilling devices and successfully selling them. From his father, an amateur distiller, he learned early on how important the sense of taste and smell is. When an opportunity arose for the then 24-year old to start his own distillery, he did not hesitate. Since then, Vallendar has become a well-known and highly valued expert in his field worldwide. 22 | Issue 68 | November 2018
Aside from impeccable hygiene, it is important to allow time, he says, and to use the best natural ingredients, because you can immediately taste it. “If you use the best cocoa and the best nut then you can achieve crazy endeavours like a hazelnut spirit – which was completely new 23 years ago.” He smiles and adds: “Back then, it was the Nutella generation who were in awe and asked how I managed to capture the special aroma in a bottle. I’ve always approached things in an unconventional way and developed various innovations in the distillation sector – many of the established professionals laughed at me back then.” Today, it is obvious that he was on the right track. Aside from the legendary hazelnut-variations, the highlights of his product range are the red Williams pear, a whole citrus selection, various gins and the bitter Boonekamp. Another gem is the
red vineyard peach brandy, which is only available in that region. Vallendar, who enjoys passing on his knowledge to his son these days, also gets a lot of inspiration from travelling. “It is important to see what the world has to offer,” he says. “Even if you are very successful, there is always something new to discover. I will never stop learning and having big goals.”
Wolfram Ortner (left), initiator of the World Spirits Award, and Hubertus Vallendar (right) at the award ceremony of the World Spirits Awards 2018 in Kail.