As a Ph.D. Engineer at the world's foremost research laboratory, Ron started experimenting in his free time with various wine fermentation and spirits distillation techniques. He designed and built his first Still at 16. By the time Ron started college, his Still designs had evolved to using solar power to produce ethonol/methanol fuel. His designs were a generation ahead of what is currently in vogue. Unfortunately, Ron was unable to convince campus security that his dormitory Still was "Purely for research." As his confiscated Still was hauled away a security guard commented, "you can buy your booze like the rest of us."
Small Batch Distilling
At Don Quixote Distillery, we hand crafts each of our Stills for both our environment and the spirit being produced. Our whiskey (pot) Still is specially designed to make American style whiskey. Our process not only improves on legendary American still designs, it utilizes a Moonshine era doubler/thumber, worm, and a natural convection process to slow chill the ethanol vapor back to a liquid. We engineered a Vodka (reflux) still with an optimal vapor rise to diameter ratio to produce our gentle vodkas with a slight sweetness. We redesigned the classic copper Alembic Still for our hot high altitude environment to make our brandies, Pisco, and grappas.
To make the best product you need a Still design optimize to your manufacturing environment. The Still needs to be constructed from the proper materials, and you need to operate the Still in a manner conducive to the end product. At Don Quixote our commitment to these details is what sets our spirits apart.
Building Don Quixote's First Still
Ron designs, fabricates, and builds all Don Quixote Stills. The first prototype Still Ron designed for commercial production was a five gallon copper alembic pot still engineered to maximize the advantages of distilling at 7500 feet elevation in the desert. In the ensuing years, Ron's quest for perfection led him to continually experiment and design newer improved Stills. He is currently on his seventh design generation and believes his has finally optimized his design to blend production efficiency with smooth spirit taste and delicate aroma. The trademark characteristics of all Don Quixote stills are their gentle even heating that renders soft, slightly sweet spirits with pleasantly balanced aromas.
Brandy Barrels in New Distillery
Olha grew up in a family of distillers learning from her Grandfather and father the ancient Eastern European secrets to fine vodka and brandy production. After the fall of the Soviet Union, Olha's father Viktor, who wasalso a merchant ship Captain, used his special vodka to entice sailors to join his voyages. In those hard times Viktor could not pay his crew so in order to man his ship he had to offer the best food and Vodka on all of the Deimper. Viktor is legendary for having the finest crew in the fleet.
Commitment to Being Green
We are committed to being as earth friendly as possible. We could do things easier, faster, and cheaper using other methods or ingredients but we feel obligated to hold ourselves to the same unyielding high standards as we hold our products. We malt our grains to naturally grow enzymes for starch conversion. We use organic grains when possible and clean our equipment with citric acid solutions to both keep industrial chemicals away from product and to gently work beside nature. We never modify our spirits after distillation with coloring, flavoring, or texturizing. We are committed to providing you with what God and nature provided us. We cool our spirits with naturally chilled water and preheat our wines prior to distilling using a passive solar system. We heat our facilities using recaptured heat from just distilled wash.