Eau de Vie season

Its the time of the year for the mobile distillery to pass in the nearby village of Benac. We go there every year around this time, to have our (fermented) fruits distilled. Unfortunately we didn’t have any significant harvest this year, so we gladly accepted the invitation of some friends to come over and witness their « chauffe ». So on April 2nd we had a render vows at the mobile distillery for an aperitif, some bbq’ing and hopefully some little drops of eau de vie.

We don’t engage in illegal activities here. Mobile distilleries are a relatively well known phenomena in this part of the Pyrenees. There is at leads a dozen of them in the region. Until 1960 there used to be a privilege for farmers, called « le droit de 1000 degrées » that allowed them to produce « 1000 degrees » of alcohol per year without having to pay any tax. This right has been cancelled by the government, and has since been replaced for « half a right » for everybody. So if you grow fruit, you are allowed to ferment it and than have it distilled in the winter months by a qualified distiller, provided off course that you paid the duties to the Customs Office. An ancient tradition that we happily keep going. Cheers!

If you want to know more about this old profession look on the website of Zézé