The Last Traveling Brandy Distillers Of France

“It’s important to continue to support traveling distillers, not only because it’s a French tradition, but because it’s a quality production.”

These are the words of Regis Ducoux, one of the last practitioners of a dying French pastime: the art of on-the-go brandy distillation. Ducoux drives around the Haute-Vienne region of France with his tin distillery on wheels, collecting barrels of overripe fruit from locals, and turning it into the clear, lightly-fruit flavored liquor known as eau de vie. The process takes a few hours, and Ducoux often spends a few weeks at a time in one place, until his stock runs dry and his brandy runs clear.

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Getting on in his years, Ducoux is looking for someone to train to replace him, to carry on the tradition, and to maintain his current devoted client base. So who knows? The next big liquor craze could move from craft beer and chartreuse to single-batch brandy made in the back of a trailer somewhere in the French countryside.