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Vienna Sour – The Life of Vinegar Producer Erwin M. Gegenbauer
Everything began in Vienna’s “Favoriten”-district, the company was founded by Ignaz Gegenbauer in 1929 where the still inexperienced future gourmet Erwin Gegenbauer at the age of only 14 left an opened bottle of fine wine in his room for a couple of days. The wine had become vinegar. Years later, after studying and travelling around the world, the charming Viennese began his new hobby: making vinegar from different sorts of wines.
Gegenbauer learned the hard way that vinegar sells worse than tap water. He presented his first products in a booth on Vienna’s famous Naschmarkt.
An important point was a conversation at the Naschmarkt and this conversation convinced him that the vinegar path was the right way for him and he started presenting all of his vinegars at the Naschmarkt from that day on. At the same time Gegenbauer’s perfectionism awakened. He was determined to produce the best ever vinegars. He started to learn everything about vinegar production, from chemical processes to historic production details. Top chefs as well as gourmets all over the world love his many sorts of fruit and balsamic vinegars made of apples, asparagus etc. Today the Austrian who humbly calls himself “the world’s smallest vinegar producer” has more than 70 sorts of vinegar in his portfolio – besides other delicacies like juices, oil and coffee. One thing is for sure: he will never go back to mass production or accept to cut back on quality.