Well, there is some amazing Eau de Vie out there, the French, Italians and Scandinavians all have a culture of it and make some pretty fancy stuff but we would like to introduce you to the new kid on the Eau de Vie block and this is made in the UK! Barney Wilczak, a crazy guy who decided to make world class Eau de Vie from local fruit in the Cotswolds!
'Capreolus comes from the latin name of the most beautiful of all deer, the roe, Capreolus Capreolus.
Delicate, slipping away, this animal is a constant accompaniment to picking in the surrounding countryside, a reminder of the fleeting nature of what we are trying to preserve.
Barney Wilczak was a conservation photojournalist in his previous life, but he was always a madcap experimenter and someone who found a passion for distilling. He did it as a hobby for years, learning and honing the craft with natural perfectionism which kept him aiming always for higher and higher quality. Eventually, part time was not enough for him and so he took the leap and set up Capreolus in 2014 with the first harvest of fruit in 2015. His aim, ‘to capture each fruit’s momentary peak of ripeness’, and he did it in the most beguiling and delicious spirits we have ever tasted.
Working from the old lean to greenhouse in his childhood home, made of timber and Cotswold stone, Barney and his small team of family and friends now create unique Eaux de Vie and small batch Gin to the highest of standards. Fruit is sourced locally from some incredible growers including the 1000 organic apple tree Orchard on Prince Charles’s Home Farm, near Highgrove, his Gloucestershire home. Every piece of fruit is hand graded and cleaned, harvested at the peak of ripeness which occurs only in good years and plenty of fruit is rejected when the quality is not high enough. Each litre of EDV contains between 15 and 45 kg of fruit. All fermentations are done slowly with natural yeast before double distillation. The products are free from the typical recycling of feints, artificial colourants, sugar and chill filtering. To reflect the spirits quality, they are hand bottled, and finished with traditionally printed letterpress labels. UV proof bottles preserve the delicate essential oils and natural cork allows a slow evolution in storage.
These products are not just spirits, not just something to drink, they are like jewels, bottled essences of nature and made with such passion and artistry, it almost seems a shame to drink them. They transform the experience of drinking Spirit into something intellectual and artistic. The aromas and flavours will relax the mind and fill the soul. We recommend them after you have had a good meal with some excellent natural wine and are sitting down in the lounge to enjoy them in peace and quiet with people you love and the pleasure of great conversation.