Oblachinska cherries only grow in the Balkans. These are Morello cherries with a very specific taste and appearance, the only ones worthy of becoming Griottines. The distiller and master agronomist's work starts as soon as the first wild Morello cherry trees begin to flower. They have to monitor the trees until their fruits are completely ripe. The calibre of the fruits is determined by irrigation, just as fructose content depends on sunshine. Distillerie Peureux takes these factors, as well as the firmness of the fruit, into account when determining the precise harvest areas and the quantity of fruit to be picked in each area.
- in just three weeks, over 500 million of these tiny, ruby red fruits are harvested.
- The Morello cherries are first dispatched to the collection center, which is located as close to the harvest area as possible. There they undergo the first washing and sorting process. The cherries are then graded and only the ones with diameters of 14 to 20 mm are kept.
- The first maceration is then carried out on site. The Morello cherries are immersed in barrels of liqueur brought in from Fougerolles. Maceration must begin within six hours of picking, to conserve the flavor and physical characteristics of the fruit. It is essential to conserve these properties of the fruit throughout the entire process. The barrels of macerating cherries are sent to Fougerolles. During transport, and the rest period following their arrival, the Morello cherries and the liqueur in the barrel merge slowly through natural osmosis.
This is one of the most delicate steps in preparing the cherries as they could be damaged during the process.
- The Morello cherries are sorted and graded again. This time only those with a diameter of 18 - 20 mm are selected. Then follows the crucial stoning stage.
The company has designed a unique machine, which positions the fruit so that the stone is removed through the scar left by the stalk. This process guarantees that the cherries look whole, despite the fact that they have no stone.
- The stoned Morello cherries are then steeped in different liqueurs for successive macerations. The master distiller decides on the composition and number of macerations and the time each maceration lasts, based on age-old know-how and secrets. At each stage, the fruit soaks up new flavors. The last maceration provides the final touch of Kirsch which is the hallmark of Griottines.
The fruits and their liqueurs, now 15% alcohol by volume, are ready for packaging.
- Drop one into the glass when serving white wine or champagne
- Add to gelatos and sorbettos
- Include as an ingredient when baking