The modern still at Westford
The modern still at Westford Hill Distillers was custom designed and built by Holstein of Germany.

On vanishing French farm traditions, author John Berger once wrote, "Cows are like distilleries. To have good milk you need good pastures."

Stirring raspberries
Stirring raspberries being fermented for Framboise.

The best fruit spirits start with great fruit. Clean, and as ripe as possible. With fruits such as pears or apples, we check each one for quality. Cherries and berries are handled whole.

Next, the fruit is mashed in a hammermill and pumped into 1500-gallon stainless steel tanks, where we add select winemakers' yeast for fermentation.

After two or three weeks, when all the natural sugars have fermented into alcohol, small batches of mash are pumped into our still. With heat, the alcohols begin to vaporize and the distillate runs at 60-80% alcohol, or 120-160 proof.

Though alcohol is produced continuously during the distillation process, we use only the middle run, called the "hearts." Click here for more detail on making eau-de-vie.

The distilling process

framboise pear william kirsch fraise poire prisoniere aged apple brandy
[framboise] [pear william] [kirsch] [fraise] [poire prisonniere] [apple brandy]

The making of aged brandy The making of eau du vie