From winemaker to fruit distiller

In 2009 I started professional training to become a winemaker in Tuscany. Besides Italian wines I quickly became fond of grappa and used my free time to explore selected distilleries in the different regions of North Italy. This is how – along with my great passion for wine – my fascination with high-percentage spirits (German: “Brände”) developed.

After the winemaker training I deepened my theoretical and practical knowledge through university studies in viticulture and enology in Geisenheim, Germany, and Italy. Working at different wineries in France and Italy, I learned hands-on how to turn high-quality grapes into a natural alcoholic fermentation – the foundation of any distillation. Over the next few years, I built on this knowledge and taught myself the craft of fruit distilling.

Destillerie Kolonko About
Destillerie Kolonko About

The Kolonko distillery

In 2017 I settled in the Markgräflerland region south of Freiburg, Germany. This is where I had completed the last part of my winemaker training six years earlier and had felt connected with the landscape and the people ever since.

In 2018 I was able to implement the idea of having my own fruit distillery: I got the chance to lease an old meadow orchard below Staufen castle. Soon after I found an old farmhouse and converted the barn into a distillery.

Since then I have been working as a fruit distiller, refining regional fruit into high-quality spirits, German “Brände”, in my own distillery. My approach to the craft of distilling is very individual. I love to try out new things independently of any conventional principles and strive for quality and perfection throughout the entire production process.