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On the farm What does it take to make a glass of apple juice?

Dawn has just broken, and Heinz Wuffli works fast. He’s been making fruit juice for years, and he could do every step in his sleep. His mill is in a backyard in Winterthur-Seen, where the early morning air is cool and the light is sparse.

Making juice isn’t Wuffli’s only mainstay. He also distils schnapps and is one of the few Swiss distillers who drives from house to house to help farmers process theirs. In winter he works in the forest cutting wood, often for the city of Winterthur.

This year’s hot and dry summer was hard on the orchards, where a lot of fruit fell because of the lack of nutrients and fluids. Also, the abundant harvest last year contributed to this season’s poor yield – as good years are always followed by rather meagre ones.

So Christa and Heinz Wuffliexternal link are expecting to produce considerably less juice this year. Above all, there’ll be fewer small-scale producers who deliver their fruit to be processed into apple or pear juice.

But the taste won’t suffer: Different varieties of pears and apples are pressed together, so every week there’s another flavour – sometimes sweet, sometimes sour.

Images and text: Thomas Kern /

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