The Distillery of Counts Potocki
When the Łańcut estate (pronounced “wine-soot”) passed to the Potocki family in 1816, it included Poland's second oldest distillery, founded in 1784. Łańcut, located halfway between Krakow and Lvov, is in the heart of Galicia which, from 1795 until World War I, was under Austrian rule.
Alfred I Potocki, who was an enterprising and innovative land owner, hired specialists to improve quality and increase production capacity. Vodka was typically distilled from grain and potatoes. In 1838 he introduced liqueurs and cordials for which the Łańcut distillery quickly achieved notoriety. In 1857 it obtained the special privilege to become a purveyor to the imperial court in Vienna.
Alfred II successfully expanded distribution to the rest of the Austro-Hungarian empire, opening company outlets in Vienna and Lvov. He even arranged for extra stopping time at Łańcut station for trains running between these two cities, so as to allow passengers to purchase the distillery’s products at a special retail point.