• Giggus Distillery in Stanz in Tyrol Master fruit grower Simon Nothdurfter

    The Giggus Distillery: Potent water instead of Schnaps from Stanz in Tirol

    Visitors reach the “Distillery Village of Stanz” by way of a serpentine road from the town of Landeck up into a landscape of gentle, green slopes and orchards with gnarled plum trees. Here, everything revolves around fine spirits, and it is not for nothing that Simon Nothdurfter’s distillery bears the name “Giggus”, meaning “potent water”.

    In love with a rosaceous plant: A man, a village, a plum

    “The plum has to travel a long way to get from the tree into the bottle,” says master fruit-grower Simon Nothdurfter on a stroll through his orchards in Stanz. The fruit needs time before it is ripe.

    In winter, the plum trees are pruned and Nothdurfter makes sure that they have sufficient water. “Here in Stanz, we have an especially large number of hours of sunlight, and the nights are cold, with a difference of up to 30 degrees Celsius. This gives the plums a high sugar content, while the mineral tanginess comes from the rare prehistoric rock in the soil.”

    Plums are rosaceous plants, with delicate aromas. “The special variety in this area is the wild plum known as ‘Spänling’, which only grows in this region: it is an egg-size, reddish-violet fruit with a sweet-sour flavour.” When it is distilled into plum spirits, a delicate almond aroma is noticeable that is reminiscent of marzipan.

    Plums from Stanz in Tyrol

    Excursion tips around Landeck in Tirol

    An entire village distils fine spirits instead of Schnaps

    This village Stanz with its 50 distilleries has specialised in making fine spirits. Stanz in Tirol has some 650 inhabitants and about 150 households, 90 of which produce fine spirits. This density of distilleries justifies the name “Distillery Village of Stanz”. At 1,040 m / 3,412 ft above sea level, it is the highest fruit-growing area in Europe. The sunny location and the sophisticated irrigation system are crucial to the flavour and the sugar content of the fruit.

    And for those who have never tasted the difference between Schnaps and fine spirits, Simon is happy to explain: “Unlike Schnaps, fine spirits are made only from fully ripe fruit, with a one hundred per cent fruit content. Epicures can thus smell the Stanz plum in the glass and long savour the gentle flavour on their palate."

    Giggus Distillery Stanz in Tyrol

    The Giggus Distillery: A place for experiments

    At the age of eleven, Simon Nothdurfter distilled his first schnapps at the Giggus Distillery. “The faith that my father showed in me back then brought a fresh impetus to my life.” At the age of fifteen he began training as a master fruit-grower. “In Tirol, the focus was on raising animals, so I switched to a school in South Tirol and learned Italian.”

    Whether it is plums, apples, pears, or apricots: Simon’s life revolves around the sweet, ripe fruit that he and his father, Stefan Nothdurfter, turn into fine spirits. By the way, he is happy to pass on his knowledge about the art of distillation to visitors. The Giggus Distillery—built of clay and stone and outfitted with gleaming copper vats—has stood on the Nothdurfter family farm since the seventeenth century and has won numerous awards, thanks to the passion for experimentation shared by the two master distillers.

    Giggus Distillery Stanz in Tyrol

    “Simon’s Naturprodukte”: apple juice, apple must, apple cider

    Simon Nothdurfter is blazing new trails. He wants to learn more about the production of cider, or “Zider”, as it is called in Austria. “When I was on an excursion to the world’s oldest fruit-growing school in the Lower Austrian town of Klosterneuburg, I had them explain to me the production process of cider down to the last detail.” To make apple must, apple juice is fermented using yeast and cellar technology. For cider, on the other hand, fermented apple juice is mixed with pure apple juice and then carbonated. “A little trick that makes a big difference.”

    “Not all of the customers who come to our farm want to drink Schnaps. So I thought about producing non-alcoholic beverages like syrup-based drinks and apple juice, or low-alcohol beverages such as apple must and apple cider.” The refreshing drinks are now available under his brand “Simon’s Naturprodukte”. The red-currant syrup and apple-must cuvée even won gold medals at the 2020 Alpen-Adria Tasting.

    Giggus Distillery in Stanz in Tyrol Apple Cider

    “To your health!”—“Cheers!”

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    Visit Simon Nothdurfter in Stanz in Tirol

    Giggus Brennerei

    Stanz bei Landeck 152

    6500 Stanz


    +43 664 46 93 212

    Find accommodation in Tirol


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