Where apples are still the apples that come from apple trees
Welcome to paradise!
This is a splendid place for growing apples, blue plums, pears, quinces and other fruit. There are abundant resources in the region surrounding legendary Riegersburg Castle; here Mother Nature is at her beautiful and fertile best.
One thing is immediately evident on a visit to our farm: the fruit trees. Even to reach our company in Riegersburg, visitors have to cross Austria’s biggest fruit-growing region, the Volcano Country of south-eastern Styria.
Only the best for the most natural taste
Our business focuses especially on old, almost forgotten heirloom varieties of fruit. In contrast to the types of dessert fruit common today, heirloom fruit often results in more complex and interesting spirits and vinegars.
With their minor visual imperfections, our small Maschansker apples are not good enough for the large supermarket chains, but to us they are particularly precious. While they may lack the uniform bright-red colour that supermarkets seek, we enjoy them for their incredibly fine taste. By the 1980s our local pear cultivars of Pyrus communis, the Hirschbirne (“stag pear”) and the Saubirne (“sow pear”), had almost disappeared from shops because of their astringent taste; today they are used to produce first-class spirits and vinegar. The wild plum or Kriecherl (Prunus insititi) is almost never served as dessert fruit because the stone is so difficult to remove. But our product list is proof positive that such neglected types of fruit can be used to make especially delicious spirits and vinegars.
From the blue treetops
Late July marks the beginning of the hottest time of year. When the treetops appear to be turning blue, that means it is time to harvest our blue plums. Each year our crew gathers in the orchards to join hands in picking blue plums, wild plums, Maschansker apples and “sow pears”. Given the taste of these wonderful varieties of fruit, it is not surprising that many of them immediately disappear into the pickers’ mouths. It takes a lot of hand labour and sheer persistence to get through our series of fruit harvests, which usually extend from May to October.
"Many of us are practically part of the inventory”
Numerous employees have been with us for many years and have helped make the company what it is today. Since the early 1990s our team has steadily grown to a total of 20 people. We are especially pleased to note that many of them have been working for us for more than a decade. Luise – who has been with us the longest – has been an important member of the team since 1995.
Working together for many years in a friendly environment, these valued employees have contributed to the positive development of our business.