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the distillery history the museum

The distillery in Lancut was founded by Duchess Lubomirska on the vast estate of the Lubomirski family. The Distillery Museum has an original document attesting to the distillery's existence in 1784. At that time the Lancut estate produced regular, anise flavoured and sweetened vodkas.

In 1823 the Lancut and Lvov Lubomirski estates were taken over by a grandson of the Duchess, Count Alfred Potocki. He modernised the management of these properties. The existing distillery began to produce premium vodkas, liqueurs, creams and ratafias, in addition to regular and anise flavoured vodkas. Schwartz distillation equipment, recognised as the best, was used. The spirits it produced were pure. Good water was sought, to improve the taste of the liqueurs. At first drawn from a well, later it was brought from a spring through specially laid pipes.

During the time of Alfred I Potocki, the estate management ran two company outlets, in Lvov and Vienna. Under his successor, Alfred II, a network of agents was created to handle sales in Galicia, Austria and Hungary. The next heir, Roman Potocki, rebuilt the distillery in 1911-1912. He moved the plant to new buildings with modem equipment. He died in 1914 and was succeeded by Alfred III.

When the First World War erupted, some of the buildings and equipment were destroyed. The creation of a stock company in 1917 led the way out of these difficulties: new capital and new ideas flowed in.

For the distillery in Lancut, the whole inter-war period was a time of sharp competition among many industry associations and companies. In 1924 the State Alcohol Monopoly was established in Warsaw to govern this industry. During a time of serious rivalry between the companies, the Lancut Distillery managed to hold its own among the best in the country. It expanded and modernised its equipment. In 1925 an artesian well was bored 150 metres down. To this day it supplies excellent water with very low hardness.

In 1927, three new stills were added, 180 hectolitres each Then an alcohol tank was constructed, with a capacity equivalent to 104 rail tankers. Distillation equipment from the Prague firm of Novak and Johan was used, and Barbet and Savalle equipment was employed in rectification.

The plant survived the outbreak of the Second World War largely intact. During the occupation it employed 120 people. In 1944 the withdrawing German armies and advancing Russian units destroyed much of the distillery, but this did not lead to its collapse. A group of sixty highly skilled and intensely loyal workers had faith that the distillery could be reconstructed.

In 1951 a state enterprise called Lancut Spirits Industries was created. It absorbed the assets of the Lancut Spirits Stock Company and Count Alfred Potocki's Privileged Distillery of Liqueurs, Rosoglios and Rum in Lancut.

By 1968 the bottling lines had been expanded, modernised and incorporated into a production complex with distillation rectification and blending units.
In 1969 the plant was producing fifteen kinds of unflavoured and flavoured vodka, about 200,000 bottles a day.Thanks to the company's experienced personnel, and technical facilities such as the ageing room, it was possible to make further changes in the production profile, expanding the line of sweet and half-sweet vodkas and liqueurs.

The year 1991 was a turning point in the company's history. Polmos, the Polish Alcohol Monopoly was dissolved. The Distillery became an autonomous state enterprise, keeping the right to use the Polmos name. The previous product line was maintained: about sixty brands, including Wodka Wyborowa, Wodka Luksusowa, Extra Zytnia, Krakus, Polonaise, Jarzebiak, Soplica, Pieprzowka, Zubrowka, Wisniowka and Ratafia and also Polish Cherry and Cacao Choix liqueurs.

Relying on tradition, an innovative, quality-conscious staff, a company culture of hard work and efficient, and greater flexibility in management, the Lancut Distillery has added more than a dozen of its own products to the brand assortment

The introduction of Lancut Wodka and the reintroduction of the pride of the old Potocki firm, Rosoglios, have crowned this latest stage of the company's history.

At present the Lancut Distillery is one of the leading Polish producers of alcoholic beverages. It has about ten percent of the Polish market. A few percent of the distillery's output is exported to Belgium, the Netherlands, France, Great Britain, Germany and Italy.

In 1996, production lines are being commissioned for new premium, luxury and bison grass vodkas. Their formulas reflect the same combination of elements that have always meant success for the Lancut Distillery; tradition, the Polish lineage of our products and the trends of the day.