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Text Angelica Carrara

At eight thousand and twenty-five feet (two thousand four hundred and ten meters) of altitude – up there, where the marmots whistle and the peaks of the mountains are blue in autumn, while the clouds build freedom that you can breathe in the air caring by eternity of the Dolomites: here the Gin 8025 is distilled, on Monte Seceda, in Val Gardena, behind the Markus and Brigitte’s Baita Sofie. It is the hut of the Prinoth family: from June until the end of November, before going to distill using an alembic, the botanicals are harvested.

The botanicals are whispered secrets to the mountains. «Juniper berries. The stone and mountain pine cones. The angelica and asperula roots» – Markus reveals only some of the thirteen herbs of his Gin 8025, the ‘highest’ one in the world. It smells of wood and has a grapefruit aftertaste. «It is served with three juniper berries, just only three, Fever Tree tonic water and ice from spring water» – he recommended. Its processing is divided between high altitude meadows, where they ‘go hunting’ for herbs, and the Villa Laviosa distillery in Terlano, a company founded in 2000 with the aim of creating distillates linked to the territory, and combining tradition with innovation. «The 8025 is a zero-sugar gin because our purpose – Alberto Franchi, Villa Laviosa’s owner, underlines – is to use techniques that enhance the properties of each botanicals, maintaining the original aromas and smells of the plants harvested in our lands».

Down in the valley, in Ortisei, the Kuno Moroder’s Hotel MontChalet smells of stone pine – its owner is the cousin of the record-player Giorgio Moroder. In just ten months, with an investment of fourteen million Euros, he inaugurated with his friend and rally companion, Marco Pezzuto, the last born five-star luxury hotel in Val Gardena. This, as we would say, is all made of wood, but it seems as if it had been carved in wood. The chalet must be discovered from its ground floor, starting from the garage that is a living room. «It is the common passion for cars which have united us» – Kuno explains, while he tells us about the wall murals, a tribute to his friends: «There are the driver Walter Relul, Max Biagi and Carolina Kostner. An Elikos – excellence of the Alpine Rescue Service helicopters, an Austrian KTM carbon car». In the wine cellar you can also have dinner and in the soundproof cinema room you can seat on Bergerè armchairs. The restaurant is on the first floor, with Italian service and kindness – we wish a star to the Neapolitan chef, Francesco Carata. In the wellness area the wood becomes dark, and Patagonia marble decorates with its colors – white, black and gold – a cerulean pool. There is no Jacuzzi: the balcony of every suite has a private one (a total of sixteen). In each room, the color of the wood is camouflaged with the fabrics of the bed, in contrast only to the onyx majolica that can be glimpsed in the bathroom.

Baita Sofie, Famiglia Prinoth
Via Mastlè, 64 – Santa Cristina Valgardena BZ

Hotel MontChalet
Via Paul Grohmann, 97 – Ortisei BZ

Villa Laviosa
Via Bolzano, 11 – Terlano (Bz)

Images courtesy of Press Office