Friendship through cider

Ramborn CEO Carlo Hein (2nd from right) showing visitors the distillery (Photo: Véronique Kolber)

Ramborn CEO Carlo Hein (2nd from right) showing visitors the distillery (Photo: Véronique Kolber)

“Ramborn started with a simple idea, to use hundreds of tons of apples and pears from the ground that weren’t being used and buy at a fair price to make cider and perry,” stated Carlo Hein, Ramborn Cider Co. CEO, in his inauguration speech.

For Ramborn, the inauguration was indeed cause for celebration: situated in Hein’s hometown of Born along the Sauer River, the farm is the region’s first of its kind--a multimedia visitor centre dedicated to the history of apples and cider making in Luxembourg.

In addition to a number of national and local politicans--including Joseph Schoellen, mayor of the commune of Mompach; agriculture minister Fernand Etgen; environment minister Carole Dieschbourg; and Luxembourg parliament president Mars Di Bartolomeo--many in attendance were locals from Born and the region.  

Speeches focused not just on the new centre, but also on the circular economy surrounding the initiative, the impact the centre will have on regional tourism and job creation and, as Di Bartolomeo pointed out, the fact that Ramborn and the centre contribute to a  “new Luxembourg nation branding”.

Following speeches, visitors could tour the farm, which is located on the edge of traditional orchards. The farm, originally built in 1757 and first used as a cidery and distillery, has been refurbished through the design of architect Vlado Zloic.

A farm is reborn

One of the special guests in attendance was Peter Mitchell, an internationally recognized cider and perry expert, who runs the Cider & Perry Academy in the UK.

Hein thanked Mitchell for his “advice, guidance and friendship”. Back when Ramborn was just an idea, Hein had a discussion with Mitchell of making cider with Luxembourg apples, and Mitchell encouraged him to join the academy.

As Mitchell pointed out in an interview with Delano, “I think this [the centre] sets a benchmark for what cider’s about…not just in Luxembourg, but pretty much across the world.”

Mitchell’s special cider blends, made especially for the centre’s launch, will be sold in the centre’s shop, alongside Ramborn perries, ciders and other apple-related products.

As Mitchell stated, “The nice thing about cider is it’s just so versatile and, in many respects, what’s going on here shows the versatility of the product,” adding: “It’s great to see the farm being born again in Luxembourg.”

The centre is open to the public Wednesday through Saturday, 2-6pm, or by appointment.