Culture & Art
Jul 1, 2016
THE ALEMBIC AND THE SECULAR ART OF COPPER
It was in 1910 that Albino Vieira dos Santos began working copper, constructing equipment for wineries and distilleries. Over three generations, the family has been serving the agricultural production and wine market in Portugal and Europe.
We speak about what is probably the oldest company in the world working copper - the "Albino Vieira, Filhos, Lda", a Portuguese manufacturer, located in Costa do Valado, near the city of Aveiro, Portugal. The "Albino Vieira, Filhos, Lda" produces equipment for distilleries, alembics, sprayers and atomizers to stainless steel tanks, decorative items and cooking objects.
From this equipment we highlight the alembic, for its tradition, uniqueness, demand and usefulness. It is a distillation equipment used in the production of spirits or in natural essences oils, based on the simple principle of alchemical essences distillery.
The alembic consists of a boiler, a helmet (or rudder) and a roll (or coil), in most cases with a pot to recover the distilled essence. However, there are many types of stills.
It is known that this peculiar object is used since the Middle Ages for the production of spirit drinks, made from fruits and cereals. However, the oldest known alembic was found in the Brazilian coast and dates from 1590. Reports of its use refer to it as a very used object in the sugarcane distillation at the old plantations of Brazil.
There are also stories that tell of its use to distil salt water in ships and caravels, maybe because of that their popularity is not restricted only to the Brazilian coast, but also a little in the Caribbean and Indian Oceans, particularly, in "The Age of Pirates".
Today, the alembic is an indispensable object in distilleries and wineries around the world, so the work of "Albino Vieira, Filhos, Lda" is far from being a piece of art for museum. Proof of this, is that this centenary manufacturer, has been gathering knowledge and experience in building stills and vats for more than three generations, and has equipped distilleries in various parts of the globe. Note that, depending on the product to be distilled, the company also adapt the distillery in order to ensure a more profitable production.
Contacts - Contactos:
Tel.: (+351) 234 941 115
Albino Vieira, Filhos, Lda
Rua Direita, 86,
Costa do Valado
3810 - 794 Oliveirinha, Aveiro