Call it a legend, call it a magic potion, call it an elixir: The “Krautinger” is a spirit distilled to incredible effects. Many stories and testimonies are connected to this traditional product from our home region. Made from turnip it’s more than a regular high-proof schnapps. “This is our remedy for anything wrong with our stomach – and any other part of our body and soul”, say the natives.
The basic ingredient is the “autumn turnip”, harvested in late summer and fall. After being cleaned, cut and pulped the mash will be reduced to a third of their initial volume. Afterwards yeast will be added to work for 48 hours, before the distilling process starts. The extra twist comes from the tools and materials used in the process. The climate of the high elevation in the Wildschönau has its effects as well as the beechwood used to fire the distillery. A challenge as well is the selection of the right fruit. Traditional makers never would use industrial made seeds but grow their own.
The history of this famous liquid dates back to empress Maria Theresia of Austria. She once provided the people of the Wildschönau with the privilege to distil this product based on old recipes. Nowhere else in Austria or Tyrolia you will find “Krautinger” producers. Once a limited community of 51 farmers located in our High Valley, there are left 15 of them in our days, who are allowed to distil and bottle this potion.