Łukasz Stafiej (www.lukaszstafiej.pl)

Podole Wielkie. A distillery found on tradition

Justyna Michalkiewicz - Waloszek
21.08.2020

Podole Wielkie is a family farm and distillery, where beverages are produced with passion and respect to tradition. Everything’s made from scratch, and it takes at least a year of hard work before the bottling process begins. Quality is of utmost importance to the owners, who each day put their hearts and souls into the distillery’s operations.

The farm and distillery Podole Wielkie is family-owned. Irena and Andrzej Paszota, who 30 years ago purchased this place, have through hard work created a thriving business. Helping them are their son, Michał, and his wife, Paulina. For Michał, the distillery was always his home. He was raised here and gained experienced. And he still calls it home.

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150 years of history in distillery Podole Wielkie

The first record of the farm dates to the 15th century. Until World War II, the estate belonged to German houses. Later, it was taken over to public ownership. The distillery itself is 150 years old. Michał Paszota says that there used to be around a thousand of distilleries like this one. Today, maybe thirty or forty is all that is left. It all boils down to low profitability. Despite the unfavourable market situation, where price is more important than quality, the distillery in Podole Wielkie is still operational. They produce potato agricultural distillate used in production of commercial vodka. In 2019, facing harsh reality and putting quality first, they have launched the manufacture of top-shelf distillates.

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From the field to the bottle

The farm is located in Pomorskie Voivodeship, just 20 kilometres from the coast of the Baltic Sea. It is surrounded by forest, far from the industrial centres. And what does it mean: from the filed to the bottle? Before the alcohol can be bottled, it has to take a long journey, which begins in the said field.

“We wanted the alcohol we produce to begin and finish its journey in Podole Wielkie. Our production process starts at least a year before bottling, during sowing of grains or planting  of potatoes. We provide the optimal conditions for growth because we know that high quality of ingredients is the most important part of the entire process” , says Michał Paszota.

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The ingredients first undergo fermentation. Then, they are put through a single, slow distillation cycle in a copper still. Simplicity is its main strength: distillate and water are the two only ingredients in the process. The liquor isn’t filtered or polluted with artificial additives. Our complex approach results in distillates of the highest quality. The owners can vouch for it, having control over the entire production process, and so can the customers who appreciate top-quality flavours and aromas. But it’s best to try it out yourself.

Production with passion

Liquors from Podole Wielkie are renowned among the consumers and have received numerous awards. This includes winning three gold and three double-gold medals in the 2019 Warsaw Spirits Competition. The distillery also co-operates with John Borell in the manufacture of “Kania” liquors. In 2020, selected spirits have won a gold, silver, and bronze medal in the Berlin International Spirits Competition. We can’t say we’re surprised.

“Most of the alcohol produced in Poland, which as we all know is the world capital of vodka, is made using low-quality ingredients. During a family discussion, we came to a conclusion that the wanted to change it, to the best of our abilities. We produce ingredients, so we can vouch for their quality. For example, our wheat distillate is made using baking wheat, the best there is. The same goes for barley, rye and every other ingredient. This makes our alcohol more complex and pronounced, which allows even a layman to be able to feel the distinct difference in flavours” , says Michał Paszota.

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But the business doesn’t concentrate on vodka only. The farm, quite surprisingly, also produces honey and canola (rapeseed) oil. In both cases, just like with vodka, quality is the most important. There is no place for intermediate products, and everything’s made from scratch. Fun fact: the owners do not have their own apiary, but each year they invite beekeepers and their bees to visit their rapeseed fields.

A trip to the distillery

One of the greatest assets of the Podole Wielkie distillery is the possibility to take a tour of it. The owners enjoy having guests, with whom they share their passion. Tours are available on Tuesdays and Saturdays and last approximately 1.5 hours. During this tour, you will not only have the opportunity to take a peek at the manufacturing process, but you will also have the chance to taste selected liquors. For more details of the tours (days, hours, organisational details), please visit www.podolewielkie.pl

 

Contact

Podole Wielkie 22, Główczyce

tel.: +48 59 811 66 70
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