In 2004 art publisher and creative all-rounder Christoph Keller was on the hunt for a tranquil country house in the German Alps, far from the bustle of Berlin. By some twist of fate he chanced upon a real estate listing for an abandoned schnapps distillery. Needless to say, he snapped it up and set to the task of bringing it back to life.
Just a few short years and over 200 international awards later, Stählemühle is recognised as one of the ten best distilleries in the world by Destillata and Gault Millau.
So as not to let the distillation rights attached to the house lapse, Christoph originally began to distil as a hobby, though this hobby quickly morphed into an obsession.
Transfixed by the calculated balance of alchemy, research, tradition and craftsmanship, he strives to bottle the entire life cycle of a plant. Just one sip and you’re off on a journey through nature’s multifaceted tastes and aromas. And with over 200 varieties on offer, there are plenty of journeys to choose from. Christoph distils everything with a natural aroma – from traditional, exotic and obscure fruits to mushrooms, herbs and even chicory root.
Producing just 1500 bottles per year, Christoph faithfully sticks to the artisanal origins of his craft. Even the dark glass apothecary bottles with handwritten labels pay homage to the ancient alchemic art form.
Drink your herbal magic from one of collaborator Ettinger's leather flasks, or style out mountainside with some uber chic MYKITA sunglasses. For your own little Bavarian getaway in paper form have a read of Ellen Von Unwerth's Heimat - we're sure art publisher Christoph Keller would approve - and then find your zen sky-high or chillax in hearty foodie den at Hubertus Alpin Lodge Hotel & Spa.
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