Rooted in the soil
In the late 1950s Alois Gölles Sr. laid the cornerstone for today’s company.
At that time he had a small farm with three or four cows, a few pigs and a couple of chickens, but then he became one of the first farmers in south-eastern Styria to cultivate apple trees.
Over the course of the 1960s the animals were gradually replaced with orchards, and then Alois Senior began planting black currants to provide a second crop to supplement income from the apples.
Alois Gölles Jr. quite literally grew up in the orchards.
From early childhood he was busy helping his parents with their business, earning his first pocket money by picking currants. The exchange rate at the time: one kilo of currants for one Austrian schilling.
At the age of 14 he set the course for his future career by beginning training at the Federal Education and Research Centre for Viticulture and Pomology (HBLA) in Klosterneuburg, where he graduated in 1979.
Professional training was followed by several years of travel during which he worked as a teacher, a production manager for a fruit processor, and an engineer for a fruit-juice producer. All of these activities had a common motivation: Gölles’s appreciation and respect for fruit as a intriguing, natural raw material.
In 1979 he began searching for new ways for his parents’ business to make use of fine fruit, initially producing fruit wine and juice and later fine spirits as well.
Driven by a desire to make vinegar that was attractive not for its acidity but for its typical fruity taste and mild spiciness, in the 1980s the House of Gölles began focussing more and more on vinegar production. After visiting various acetaias near Modena, Italy, Alois Gölles was increasingly determined to explore this form of enhancing fine fruit. By 1984 the creation of Gölles’s Apple Balsamic Vinegar had laid the cornerstone for the family’s vinegar business.
Aged for eight years in oak casks, this vinegar is characterized by wonderfully harmonious apple aromas paired with the mature flavours of a wooden cask. The refined taste and charm can hold their own against the finest Italian aceti balsamici.
Gölles made the only apple balsamic vinegar to be had for 15 years before the competition began trying their hand at it. Following his initial success, Gölles’s motivation rose steadily, and he began turning many other domestic varieties of fruit into balsamic and fruit vinegars.