Inside the distillery, apricot mash is added to a gleaming copper still. The room smells of baked fruit. “We get these apricots from Wachau, where they're harvested on the banks of the Danube,” says Rainer. It's unusual to source fruit this way—grower by grower, region by region, year by year. In fact, Rainer's process is much like making wine, choosing particular fruits from specific parcels of land in superlative years. “Ripeness matters,” he says. “Where it comes from matters.” He gets red Williams pears and morello cherries from Austria, wild rowanberry from Finland, forest raspberries from Armenia, and oranges from Sicily, among others. He experiments often with new fruits, new growers, and new combinations. And some years he'll reject fruit that he doesn't feel will make perfect spirits. This year, the apricots have shown very well.