We went to meet Eric, Master Distiller at the Meunier Distillery, to discover the backstage of his daily life and his work. Discover the interview below!
My name is Eric, I am a master distiller and in charge of the manufacturing at the Meunier distillery since 2015. I was trained for several years by François Modelski who himself managed the distillery's production for nearly 40 years. I therefore benefited from his long experience in the selection and distillation of alpine plants, in particular genepi that we have been working with for over 200 years.
I am thus the guarantor of the respect of the recipes and the distillation processes specific to Meunier which make the success of our spirits.
A distillation day starts well before dawn, often as early as 4 am. Indeed, we have chosen not to automate the starting of the stills in order to better control the heating and the arrival of the first condensed vapors in the form of distillate.
The cuts between the heads, hearts and tails of distillation are also made manually, after tasting the distillates (rectified with water, because we distill between 80 and 88% vol.).
A complete distillation lasts between 6 and 9 hours depending on the recipe and the supervision of the still in operation is a constant work.
When I am not distilling, I prepare the stills or clean them, and I take care of the various preparations and blends of finished products.
Without a doubt, my favorite part is developing new recipes. It's the most rewarding part of the job. When the recipe is accepted by the team, then released on the market and is distinguished by the critics during big international competitions as recently for our Genepi in San Francisco, it is a real pride.
Of course, I didn’t create all the recipes for the Maison Meunier's genepi and liqueurs. Some of them are original recipes and will remain unchanged.
On the other hand, I had to rework some of the liqueurs, because the old recipes were very sweet. Nowadays, consumers are looking for lower sugar content, hence our work on these recipes. It is important to know that by removing sugar from a preparation, the balance is lost and the recipe must be completely revised.
I would say that today the genepi which corresponds to me the most is the Genepi Meunier Altitude, because it’s relatively dry and very well balanced.
The first trials of black génépi that we made this winter are also sublime with a very surprising aromatic palette for a monovarietal distillate.
Certainly not !
Thank you Eric for this moment of exchange !
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