Distilling artisans revive the green fairy in Sarreyer, thanks to the natural treasures blooming there.
Besson Immobilier would like to discover little jewels for you. We are not only looking for the real estate object that perfectly meets your expectations, but we also like to find products that are real jewels in our mountains. Products of rare perfection because they are made with the soul and passion of artisans!
These products speak to us and touch us every time because they have a history and a very strong link with our land, Val de Bagnes. And we found these diamonds at the bottom of our valley, in the small village of Sarreyer next to Verbier.
Two Franco-Swiss enthusiasts settled in Sarreyer to transmute the plants of the region in a subtle and delicate way – by distillation
It was on a farm, set apart from the beautiful village of Sarreyer, that Matthieu and Florence, equipped with their still, decided to start their small business: “Edelweiss Distillery “. They were won over by the richness of the plants that grew there. For millennia, nature did most of the work, but this couple have subtly unlocked the secrets and aromas of all these mountain plants, thanks to their copper device and their know-how to create works of art.
The “fée verte” (green fairy) of Sarreyer
Initially, they chose to settle in Sarreyer for the absinthe which grew in abundance there. This plant, also called sacred herb, was already used in the time of Hippocrates to make the liqueur of the same name. Commonly referred to as “the green fairy”, Van Gogh, Verlaine, Toulouse-Lautrec, and many others sought inspiration from it.
In addition to absinthe, the two artisans collected wild jewels such as fir buds, elderflowers, sweet woodruff, and juniper berries at high altitudes, at the foot of our iconic mountain, Ruinette. They also grew various organic plants such as mint, lemon balm, edelweiss, hyssop, génépi, thyme etc. around their farm, on the steep slopes of Sarreyer. These different Alpine plants were added to the composition of their recipe to create the eaux-de-vie.
They were also able to take advantage of the mountain farms’ mutual aid, which still takes place in small villages. Friends, neighbours, farmers or senior citizens lend a hand at the time of the most demanding tasks during harvesting.
Natural wine from the South, with the magical beverage of the mountains
Outside, on the terrace of their farm, facing the mountain, the passionate couple work the gleaming still after the maceration of the plants in alcohol. In the morning, the still is heated with wood, and the smells of ethyl that emerge when it is activated transport us to another dimension.
Traditional producers often make their spirits with industrial pure alcohol in order to lower their production cost. On the Edelweiss farm, even this alcohol is made from natural and organic wine, without suphite, from the south of France, the Swiss production being almost non-existent.
The result is a small organic production with an assortment of four flagship products: “la chandelle verte” (the green candle), the traditional green fairy, the blue, the silver star, and a wonderful Gin, spelled “Djinn”. This last outstanding product was selected for the Swiss spirit award, and won the silver medal.
From the art of distillation to diversification.
The plant lovers did not stop at spirits. Essential oils, floral waters, propolis, pomace, cosmetics, herbal medicine, etc. Edelweiss Distillery is where everything is possible.
We were charmed by this young couple of enthusiasts who produce high quality products. We strongly recommend that you taste these eaux-de-vie with scents and delicate flavours that inspire respect. An excellent gift idea you will not find in supermarkets. You can now purchase these directly from the website “Edelweiss Distillery” as well as from the store “chez Mamie Bagnes” in Châble. Or visit the Mont-Fort de Sarreyer café to taste them.
Interested in distilling? Become a cooperator of the Edelweiss farm
The Edelweiss farm would like to become a cooperative in order to buy the establishment and operate the place on a sharing basis (distilling), sharing skills, and also in order to offer better services (training, internship, events, etc.) If you are interested, you can contact them here
Discover other profiles, tips or ideas for walks in our Besson Mag.