The Freimeisterkollektiv is a grouping of individualists – an alliance of independent craft distillers and leading bartenders. Our customers should know what they drink. And from whom. The production of our products is subject to complete transparency.
Vermouth is a fortified wine which takes its name from “Wermut”, the German word for wormwood (Artemisia absinthium). Our VERMOUTH EXTRA TROCKEN 015 consists of over 95% wine and distilled wine. Thus it is clear: an outstanding, quality vermouth requires the best wine. And for the Kollektiv it was clear: a unique vermouth could only be developed if we could find a Freimeister who was both an experienced winemaker and excellent distiller. After a long search, we found who we were looking for in the south-eastern corner of Styria, the so-called volcanic land where the borders of Hungary, Slovenia and Austria meet.
Lisa Bauer is a winemaker and distiller who has acquired a wealth of international experience, despite her young age of 28. The perfect Freimeister to create an outstanding vermouth, she is based in a region renowned for the cultivation of Muscat Blanc à Petits Grains, the most favored grape variety of the old vermouth recipes.
wine and brandy from Moscato Giallo (Yellow Muscat), Artemisia absinthium, Acorus calamus, dittany (Origanum dictamnus), tonka bean, achillea, cardamom, orris root, buckbean (Menyanthes), gentian, sage
WERMUT EXTRA TROCKEN 015 is derived from a wine made of yellow Muscat grapes (Moscato Giallo), half of which is distilled in a vacuum pot still. Lisa Bauer is one of the few who use such a facility. The negative pressure generated by this system reduces the boiling point of alcohol (ethanol) from 78°C to around 38°C. Thus the distillation is particularly gentle on the flavors. This rare distillation process is not the only special feature: very few manufacturers use a wine distillate from the same grape variety and harvest to sprinkle the wine.
Distillate of wine or grape is usually not used at all in the production of fortified wines such as vermouth, as it is not required by the legislature.
Using a distillate derived from the same wine as the one that it is fortified with significantly increases the signature spicy aromas of the yellow Muscat grapes (Moscato Giallo).
Meanwhile, the extraction of herbs happens neither in the wine nor wine distillate. Lisa Bauer emphatically prefers extracting the flavors with neutral alcohol, for better control and precision. She mixes a highly concentrated maceration (ratio 1:22) with wine, wine distillate and sugar. The sugar content in WERMUT EXTRA TROCKEN 015 is 26.8 grams per liter, well below the decreed maximum of 30 grams for “extra dry”.
Distiller, Winemaker | Fehring, Styria
Lisa Bauer grew up in the Styrian volcanic region, the daughter of a family of winegrowers. Her family runs a small mixed farm here, along with a “Buschenschank” tavern for self-pressed wines and cold dishes, typical to this region.
She received her initial training at the College of Viticulture Silberberg in Styria and later graduated from the Federal College of Viticulture and Pomology in Klosterneuburg near Vienna with her A Levels and Bachelor degree. In addition to studying viticulture and oenology, Bauer has acquired extensive expertise in fruit processing, mashing and distillation. She was already familiar with distilling since childhood, when homegrown fruits of the family farm were distilled in a small 90-liter pot still.
As an intern at a Mallorcan wine estate, Bauer learned to make gin in the connected distillery. Following her apprenticeship, she took on a distiller job in a large distillery, wherein up to 2 million kilos of pears, plums and apricots were processed annually. In 2016, she worked at a winery in Casablanca, Chile and in a bodega in Argentina. There, she was involved in setting up the new distillery Casa Tapaus, which distilled the pomace of the winery for grappa, and was responsible for the development of the first gin.
At the end of 2016, Bauer returned to Austria and founded her own gin brand. She wants, as she emphasizes, “to distill opulent gins that stay in your memory. A lot of juniper and many botanicals are supposed to shape the complex taste pattern.”
Due to her excellent education and many years of experience, Lisa Bauer is already a true connoisseur of aromas and herbs. She creates recipes like a perfumer. In advance, she thinks exactly what aromas and drugs she needs for a perfect composition.
For the Freimeisterkollektiv Lisa Bauer developed her first vermouth.