The story of the Windspiels is based on a simple, down-to-earth vision. Sandra Wimmeler, Denis Lönnendonker, Rebecca Mertes and Tobias Schwoll were looking for an autonomous lifestyle, free of all constraints. This vision led the four protagonists to the farm, Weilerhof, in the picturesque village of Berlingen in the Volcanic Eifel region. Apart from forest, farmland and the Kasselburg castle, there was nothing else as far as the eye could see. The foursome decided there and then that this would be the place where their dreams would become a reality. Their goal was to produce honest products and to lead a life in harmony with nature. But did they really want to exchange their fine clothes for overalls? They wouldn‘t be the Windspiels if they didn‘t continue wearing bow-ties, braces and beautiful clothes on their farm and keep up their epicurean pursuits. Only Tobias donned his flannel shirt and diligently began working to ensure that the four of them would soon be one step closer to their dream of autonomy. They produced their own energy by growing the energy crop Miscanthus. Bentheim Black Pied pigs and goats made life on the farm absolutely perfect. Every evening the four friends would treat themselves to a glass of gin and would relax together, savouring their home-cooked Eifel potato dishes. That is until Tobias began talking about his dreams. He wanted to be a potato farmer. But due to the stony soils in the Eifel, it would be virtually impossible. Impossible, that is, for almost anybody except Tobias of the Windspiels.
A dream was born.
The thrill of a challenge.
Not long afterwards, Tobias prepared the stony Eifel fields for the planting of his muchloved potatoes. He knew how to extract the best from the soils. And only the best was good enough for the Windspiels. They still ate an Eifel potato dish together every evening but now it was made from their own potatoes. They were just enjoying a glass of gin when Denis had an idea. Why didn‘t they make their own gin from the noble potato instead of the usual grain. That would deliver an exquisite flavour, he felt sure. The others thought it was a crazy idea. But ultimately, a vision had been born and visions must be implemented. So they began to experiment and found an experienced master distiller in Holger Borchers. Their task was to make a sophisticated gin with an exquisite and subtle flavour. Down-to-earth but still suitable for self-confident connoisseurs. They spent months working together on a formula, refined the botanicals and finally came up with the perfect result: their Premium Dry Gin.
A historical legacy resurfaces.
Windspiel was created.
The only thing missing now was a name for this exquisite product. It needed to do justice to such a remarkable gin and also tell the story of the four creators. And then, during one of their many gin and potato evenings, the four friends remembered a visit to a woman in the neighbouring village. At that time, they were new to the village and everyone wanted to know who these four newcomers were. Sandra, Denis, Rebecca and Tobias did not want to be impolite and were happy to take up her invitation. She told them plenty about the surrounding area, about old Mr Weiler who used to own the farm, and the later it got, the further back she went in German history. Eventually, when it was getting quite late, the lady began talking about King Frederick the Great of Prussia. According to her, he was supposed to have met Leopold Joseph Graf von Daun in 1757 and talked about the Eifel „Tartoffel“ or potato. Frederick the Great was very impressed. So impressed that he had the idea of conjuring up something special from this fine tuber - creating an exquisite liquor would have been the crowning achievement of his life‘s work. Unfortunately, it didn‘t turn out that way. As they thought about this story, the four friends simply had to laugh. But still, what if it were true? They wanted to establish the facts and researched everything they could find on Frederick the Great. The dog lover, Sandra, was particularly enthusiastic about his passion for greyhounds. He even wanted to be buried with them. Her enthusiasm was contagious and quickly spread to the others and this is how they linked one passion with another. They called their exquisite liquor: Windspiel Premium Dry Gin. Dedicated to Frederick the Great, who discovered the potato in Germany and his second great passion: the greyhound, or in German „Windspiel“.
A outfit for an elegant drink.
It had to be sophisticated and stylish.
But a name alone does not make a product. So the foursome set to work on designing their elegant drink. Basically, their gin should reflect their personalities – with a penchant for epicurean delights and beautiful things yet close to nature. They quickly found a brown bottle that simply radiated elegance and simplicity. A cream-coloured uncoated paper soon formed the basis of their label. Now it just needed that certain something to finish it off. Something that made the bottle just as distinctive as the Windspiels themselves. They requested information on natural corks from Amorim Cork but none of the corks were exactly what they were looking for. Until they had a brilliant idea! They needed a golden ring and an elegant cord. They lay like an elegant necklace around the bottle neck and added a touch of glamour. But the cork should not only be a delight to behold and then thrown away as soon as the bottle was empty. This is why the Windspiels began using their corks as key rings. A custom they still adopt to this day.
Quality takes time.
An inventive spirit is in the air.
If you think all the Windspiels do now is sit back and put their feet up at their farm, the Weilerhof, then you couldn't be more wrong. They have definitely not ground to a halt, indeed there is still a definite inventive spirit in the air. And so it was no surprise that as they were gathered together one evening at the Weilerhof, they let their thoughts wander. They thought back to their early days together and their visions for the future. To how it all started and how people had belittled them. Denis summed it up: “You know, when we started, everyone thought we were just dreamers. Hardly anyone knew about gin here in the Eifel and we were the umpteenth gin brand in the world. It certainly was weird but at the same time exciting.” And Tobias continued: “That’s right. People round here tend to drink herbal schnapps and vodka. But gin. That was something new for almost everybody.” And as they spoke these words, the next vision flashed through their minds. Vodka – the clear alcoholic drink often combined with lemonades and juices. Each one of them had a very special memory of it. It was the drink of their youth. How could they forget it? But drinking vodka again today? Could that still be an enjoyable experience for them? Not quite what it used to be. It had to be better. So they began to try out a few ideas. It would have to be a special vodka. One for connoisseurs. It would have to be more than just the raw alcohol of their gin. The potato flavour would need to be even more discernible. And so for this purpose, they decided to distil their Pirol potatoes. These potatoes had a particularly high starch content and intensive flavour. They developed a special technique to combine the particular characteristics of this potato with a mild and delicate flavour. But they were still not satisfied. They then stored this exquisite drink for a few months in ash barrels and regularly checked its quality. A few months later, it was ready. Their vodka had achieved exactly the right characteristics and mildness they were looking for. It was their vodka. A vodka made by connoisseurs for connoisseurs. Their Windspiel Barrel-Aged Potato Vodka.