The history of distillation in Slavonic lands is a book of many volumes. Bread wine (the ancient Slavic name for vodka) was first mentioned in the chronicles in the 14th century. However, there is every reason to assume that in these parts they have been producing the intoxicating drink from wheat, rye and barley for more than 1,000 years
Gomel and Gomel Region boast ancient in-depth distilling traditions. The Count Rumyantsev Family used to run wineries and distilleries based in Gomel Region.Gomel Distillery – one of Belarus’ oldest companies - is a proud follower of the ancient distilling traditions.
The company was started in 1897 as Novaya Belitsa State Wine Storage run by the Region Governors Excise Department. After the 1917 revolution the warehouse was turned into a distillery. In March 1920 the company had a staff of 11 workers and 3 servicemen, producing 1,116 buckets of alcohol. In 1922 the company boosted its production capacity to 175,000 buckets of alcohol. By the year 1928 staff numbers had grown to 151.
By the year 1928 staff numbers had grown to 151. At that time the company would supply customers with vodka, crude alcohol, rectified alcohol, fusel oils, methylated spirit, drying oil and ethers.
Throughout its century-spanning history the company has repeatedly changed its name and owners..
Since 1964 it has been referred to as Gomel Distillery.
In the 1970-80s the company reached a production peak, product range surpassing 50 titles.
The White Pillar (Belovezhskaya) and the Bison (Zubrovka) vodkas in souvenir bottles enjoyed a popular demand in Moscow, the USSR capital, and were served at international receptions.
In the meantime, in 1987-1990, when the Soviet Prohibition Law was in force, the company had a change of heart it was converted into a soft beverage producing facility, which also bottled mineral water.
In 1990 the company resumed distilling practices.
Since 1994 the family of traditional Soviet vodkas (Russkaya (Russian Vodka), Pshenichanaya (Wheat Vodka), Stolichnaya (Capital Vodka), Extra) was diversified with nastoykas Chabarovya (Thyme Vodka), Juniper Vodka, Caraway Vodka, Spicy Vodka.
The aforementioned vodkas are produced under proprietary recipes. The history of Polesse Distilling Facility, a branch of Gomel Distillery, dates back to 1867.
Its original name was Soltanovski Winery Nr.206. In 1954 they launched a distilling workshop producing 600 dal of rectified alcohol. In 1955 they commissioned a carbon dioxide plant. 1980 the company introduced an instant starch depleting technology (2,000 dal a day). In 1987 the company built a wort producing plant (1,500 tonnes of wort concentrate a year). Since 1997 the company has been producing fermented rye malt. In 2002 the company was incorporated by Gomel Distillery. In 2005-2006 the enterprises retooled its facilities for producing soft beverages.