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Document 52023XC01632

Publication of an application pursuant to Article 26(2) of Regulation (EU) 2019/787 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 17 April 2019 on the definition, description, presentation and labelling of spirit drinks, the use of the names of spirit drinks in the presentation and labelling of other foodstuffs, the protection of geographical indications for spirit drinks, the use of ethyl alcohol and distillates of agricultural origin in alcoholic beverages, and repealing Regulation (EC) No 110/2008

C/2023/8303

OJ C, C/2023/1632, 22.12.2023, ELI: http://data.europa.eu/eli/C/2023/1632/oj (BG, ES, CS, DA, DE, ET, EL, EN, FR, GA, HR, IT, LV, LT, HU, MT, NL, PL, PT, RO, SK, SL, FI, SV)

ELI: http://data.europa.eu/eli/C/2023/1632/oj

European flag

Official Journal
of the European Union

EN

Series C


C/2023/1632

22.12.2023

Publication of an application pursuant to Article 26(2) of Regulation (EU) 2019/787 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 17 April 2019 on the definition, description, presentation and labelling of spirit drinks, the use of the names of spirit drinks in the presentation and labelling of other foodstuffs, the protection of geographical indications for spirit drinks, the use of ethyl alcohol and distillates of agricultural origin in alcoholic beverages, and repealing Regulation (EC) No 110/2008

(C/2023/1632)

This publication confers the right to oppose the application pursuant to Article 27 of Regulation (EU) 2019/787 of the European Parliament and of the Council (1).

SINGLE DOCUMENT (REGULATION (EU) 2019/787)

Trenčianska borovička ‘JUNIPERUS’ / Trenčianska borovička ‘JUNIPERIERS’ – TRENČÍN DISTILLERY

PGI-SK-02871 – Date of application: 17 October 2022

1.   Name(s) to be registered

‘Trenčianska borovička “JUNIPERUS” / Trenčianska borovička “JUNIPERIERS” – TRENČÍN DISTILLERY’

2.   Member State

Slovakia

3.   Geographical Indication type

Geographical Indication

4.   Category or categories of the spirit drink

19. Juniper-flavoured spirit drink

5.   Description of the characteristics of the spirit drink

Physical, chemical and organoleptic characteristics as well as specific characteristics of the product compared to spirit drinks of the same category

‘Trenčianska borovička “JUNIPERUS” / Trenčianska borovička “JUNIPERIERS” – TRENČÍN DISTILLERY’ is a clear, colourless spirit drink with an alcohol content of 42 % vol with a pronounced aroma and an intense, pleasant taste of common juniper (Juniperus communis L.) and prickly juniper (Juniperus oxycedrus L.). ‘Trenčianska borovička “JUNIPERUS” / Trenčianska borovička “JUNIPERIERS” – TRENČÍN DISTILLERY’ is produced using aged juniper spirit, refined neutral spirit and liquid sugar.

The juniper distillate is the key ingredient that gives the spirit drink its specific properties and distinctive character. It is a colourless and slightly viscous liquid with a slight but discernible sweetness, a spicy aftertaste, an aroma of juniper berries and a slight unctuosity.

Refined neutral spirit is a colourless liquid with a mildly alcoholic taste and aroma but no extraneous flavours.

Liquid sugar is an aqueous solution of white crystal sugar obtained by the cold method, i.e. by dissolving sugar in water without heating the solution.

Chemical and physical properties

Ethanol: 42 % vol.

Organoleptic properties

Appearance – a clear liquid free of sediment and turbidity, free of mechanical or other impurities

Colour – crystal-clear liquid, may acquire a golden tint when aged

Aroma – highly aromatic, typical of juniper berries, free of extraneous odours and flavours

Taste – full and intense flavour of juniper berries, pleasantly mild, with a long, slightly spicy after-taste

Specific characteristics of the spirit drink as compared to the relevant category

‘Trenčianska borovička “JUNIPERUS” / Trenčianska borovička “JUNIPERIERS” – TRENČÍN DISTILLERY’ is marketed with an alcohol content of 42 % vol. The characteristic taste is conferred by a fixed percentage of aged juniper distillate, which is produced by two-step distillation of a fermented mash of common juniper (Juniperus communis L.) and prickly juniper (Juniperus oxycedrus L.) berries.

The use of aged juniper distillate, which has an intense but inoffensive aroma and taste of juniper, without bitterness or pungency, confers on ‘Trenčianska borovička “JUNIPERUS” / Trenčianska borovička “JUNIPERIERS” – TRENČÍN DISTILLERY’ sensory properties setting it apart from juniper-flavoured spirit drinks produced by other means, namely the use of juniper distillate produced by distilling juniper macerate or one-step distillation of spirit through a juniper filter (steam infusion) or the use of natural flavourings.

The juniper distillate is blended with refined neutral spirit and a small quantity of liquid sugar in fixed proportions to harmonise the ingredients in order to arrive at a complex product with a balanced aroma and taste. The specific method for the production of the unique juniper distillate involves preparing the mash in the traditional way, applying the prescribed fermentation parameters and distilling in two stages, which releases into the distillate the aromatic substances, resin (juniperin), terpenes and other substances that form the basis of the final spirit.

6.   Definition of the geographical area

The production of ‘Trenčianska borovička “JUNIPERUS” / Trenčianska borovička “JUNIPERIERS” – TRENČÍN DISTILLERY’ is carried out in the city of Trenčín, which is bordered to the west by the White Carpathian mountains, to the east by the Považský Inovec and Strážov mountains, to the north by the Javornik mountains and to the south by the foothills of the Považský Inovec mountains.

7.   Production method

The main ingredient of ‘Trenčianska borovička “JUNIPERUS” / Trenčianska borovička “JUNIPERIERS” – TRENČÍN DISTILLERY’ is aged juniper distillate.

Juniper distillate

The basic raw materials for juniper distillate are the blue berries of the common juniper (Juniperus communis L.) and the crimson berries of the prickly juniper (Juniperus oxycedrus L.). Only ripe juniper berries, free of rot and unripe fruit, are used. The berries of the different species of juniper are stored and processed separately.

The berries are first crushed or ground in order to yield as much sugar as possible. Hot water is then added, at a temperature of not more than 60 °C and in a ratio of approximately 1:5. The cooled mash is fermented with yeast starter and the prescribed nutrients are added. Intensive fermentation in a stainless steel vessel starts within 24 hours and proceeds by itself for 2 to 3 days. The fermentation process is checked by measuring the sugar reduction and ethanol content and by monitoring the pH level of the fermentation mixture. At the final fermentation stage a prescribed quantity of refined neutral spirit can be added to the juniper mash in order to extract the maximum amount of aromatic substances from the berries.

After fermentation is complete the mash is distilled twice. In the first distillation the juniper oil must be separated to avoid turbidity developing in the distillate. The freshly produced juniper distillate is left to mature for several months in earthenware containers. Maturation leads to the production of esters and hemiacetals that moderate the aroma, round off the taste of the distillate and remove the free higher alcohols, aldehydes and acids that produce a pungent taste in the distillate. The individual distillate acquires its quality through a monitored storage period lasting a maximum of 250 days.

Production of the spirit drink

Specified quantities of aged juniper distillate, refined neutral spirit, liquid sugar and softened water are mixed step by step in a stainless steel mixing vessel. Before being used in the production process the water is treated in a softening station that removes mechanical impurities, while activated charcoal removes chlorine, heavy metals and other undesirable substances. The hardness is then removed from the water by reverse osmosis.

The product is filtered and the filtrate is then transferred by gravity into the reservoir of the filling line, which dispenses the product into glass bottles and seals the bottles with an aluminium cap.

8.   Description of the link between the spirit drink and its geographical origin, including, where appropriate, the specific elements of the product description or production method justifying the link

The causal link for the geographical indication ‘Trenčianska borovička “JUNIPERUS” / Trenčianska borovička “JUNIPERIERS” – TRENČÍN DISTILLERY’ is derived from soil and climate conditions, the region’s history and traditions, the know-how of local producers and the reputation of the product.

The defined geographical area’s rugged terrain and cooler climate are conducive to the development of fruit growing, which became a major source of livelihood.

The low technological level of distilling in the early 19th century did not always result in a satisfactory flavour or aroma, so juniper berries were used to eliminate the odour and taste of alcohol produced from other raw materials.

The original method for producing the aged juniper distillate typical of the Trenčín region by processing juniper berries, distillation and ageing was introduced by Prvá trenčianska borovičková továreň [First Trenčín Borovička Manufactory] in 1905 and continues to be used to this day.

Juniper fruit has a sweet spicy taste and contains, in addition to sugar, essential oils, resins (juniperin), flavonoids, terpenes, proteins, waxes and formic, acetic and malic acids. ‘Trenčianska borovička “JUNIPERUS” ’ is produced using the blue berries of the common juniper (Juniperus communis L.) and the crimson berries of the prickly juniper (Juniperus oxycedrus L.). Blue juniper berries are smaller, with a higher concentration and intensity of aromatic components but a lower sugar content. Crimson juniper berries have a high sugar content but a lower content of aromatic substances.

The technology for fermentation and for producing juniper distillate is used and improved by highly experienced workers and professionals, who not only monitor the quality of the juniper berries but, above all, improve the production process. Know-how and experience are transferred from one generation of workers to the next.

The link between the product and the defined geographical area is demonstrated by Slovak ethnographer Ján Čaplovič in his ‘O Slovensku a Slovákoch’ [On Slovakia and the Slovaks]: ‘Borovička producers and oil merchants usually come from Trenčín County on the border with Moravia and the White Carpathian mountains, where junipers grow.’ In another of his works, ‘Etnografia Slovákov v Uhorsku’ [Ethnography of Slovaks in Hungary], Čaplovič writes: ‘In Trenčín County a lot of slivovica (plum brandy) is distilled. … The juniper (juniperus) is also of no small importance to the poorest people in this county, thousands of whom pick its berries when they ripen. The gatherers, for the most part village girls, either use the berries to make a spirit drink themselves or sell them to Jews, who then use them to make a strong spirit known as “borovička”.’

In the first half of the 20th century there were as many as five industrial producers of spirit drinks, including the local speciality Trenčianska borovička, the best known of these producers being Prvá trenčianska borovičková a likérová továrňa, účastinná spoločnosť [First Trenčín Borovička and Liqueur Manufactory, Joint-Stock Company]. The manufactory came into being on 16 August 1905 and was later taken over by the commercial group owned by the Viennese Lederer family, which brought together several leading liqueurs in Austria-Hungary. In the course of time ‘Trenčianska borovička “JUNIPERUS” / Trenčianska borovička “JUNIPERIERS” – TRENČÍN DISTILLERY’ came to dominate the market, becoming well-known and highly sought-after in Hungary and abroad.

The Lederers identified the potential of this regional speciality. Later, after the fall of the monarchy, they produced Trenčianska borovička for the Hungarian market, as multilingual labels from the 1940s attest. The spread of the spirit drink across a wide area was crucial to boosting the reputation of ‘real’ Trenčianska borovička, which became a byword and has been a symbol of quality ever since. ‘Trenčianska borovička “JUNIPERUS” / Trenčianska borovička “JUNIPERIERS” – TRENČÍN DISTILLERY’ has long been an export product.

Trenčín borovička production was not seriously affected during the post-war years. Production continued without interruption. The product’s quality and reputation are further borne out by notice of designation of origin No 12.594/66-01/14 of 3 November 1966, in which the Ministry of the Food Industry declared that the designation of origin ‘Trenčianska borovička’ was now known, established and recognised in Czechoslovakia’s economy and possessed the character of a designation of origin.

The name of the spirit drink has undergone a number of changes dictated by the legislation applicable at the time. As has been pointed out, the trademark ‘JUNIPERUS’ was registered in 1936. The Ministry of the Food Industry declared ‘Trenčianska borovička’ a designation of origin. The designation of origin was subsequently linked to the trademark and the place of manufacture was added: ‘TRENČIANSKA BOROVIČKA “JUNIPERIERS” – TRENČÍN DISTILLERY’. The spirit later became known by the designation ‘Trenčianska borovička “JUNIPERUS” ’.

The finely tuned technological process, the decades of quality assurance and the reputation of the product have been preserved, as attested by the award of the prestigious SLOVAK GOLD medal in 1995 and 2007. Other awards include:

gold medal, Tenth Pálinka Festival, Senta, Serbia, 2010;

gold medal, Golden Distillate of the Danube, Komárno, Slovakia, 2013;

silver medal, Nineteenth Hungarian Pálinka Festival, Gyula, Budapest, Hungary, 2011.

‘Trenčianska borovička “JUNIPERUS” / Trenčianska borovička “JUNIPERIERS” – TRENČÍN DISTILLERY’ continues to be produced according to the original recipe, with tried-and-tested methods being used for processing the raw materials and for production itself. The product has been successfully marketed for more than a hundred years on the strength of its renowned quality, typical flavour and respect for a traditional production process.

Reference to publication of the product specification

https://www.indprop.gov.sk/swift_data/source/pdf/specifikacie_op_oz/Juniperus-specifikacia_FINAL.pdf


(1)   OJ L 130, 17.5.2019, p. 1.


ELI: http://data.europa.eu/eli/C/2023/1632/oj

ISSN 1977-091X (electronic edition)


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