Baczewski is a name of a Polish szlachta family and a brand of one of the most popular European fine spirits producer. The factory was based in Lwów and until 1939 was one of two most popular Polish export goods. The family of Baczewski was of distant Valachian descent and signed itself with the Sas coat of arms.
In 1782 a distillery was founded in Wybranówka, a small suburb of the city of Lwów, Poland. In 1810 a small, local spirits factory was inherited by the founder's son, Leopold Maksymilian Baczewski, who moved the firm to another of Lwów's suburbs, Zniesienie. The suburb was soon swallowed by the fast-growing metropolis and the factory at Żółkiewska Street started to grow rapidly. The family business was one of four distilleries in Lwów, but it was remarkable for introduction of new technologies. It introduced a double rectification process only two years after Aeneas Coffey invented it. The liqueurs, rosolises and vodkas produced with this technology were much more smooth and clear than most of other brands, which gave the company large popularity, not only in the city, but also in other parts of the Austrian Empire. As a result, the company received from the imperial court the prestigious mark of Imperial Eagle. Later, the court also granted the company with the title of "K.u.K. Hoflieferant", or "Imperial and Royal Purveyor to the Court".
After Józef Adam's death in 1911, the firm was inherited by two of his sons, Leopold and Henryk. The earlier was a graduate of the Chemical Faculty of the Vienna University and took over the production while the latter was a lawyer and continued their father's active marketing strategy. They also introduced new brands, until their times sold only locally. When Poland regained her independence in 1918, the company had a well-established name and the brothers decided to stay with their fathers' name rather than change it to include their own name. The popularity of the spirits was so great that in many Polish books and poems of the epoch, the brand "Baczewski" is used as a synonym to "vodka".
After the outbreak of the Polish Defensive War of 1939, the factory was bombed by the Luftwaffe during the Battle of Lwów. After the city was seized by the Soviet Union, the remnants were levelled to the ground and a new factory of emery paper. However, the brand continued to live as a synonym of quality. Its' popularity was maintained by many notable writers and poets of the epoch, including Marian Hemar. Last bottles of Baczewski's spirits were sold for huge prices even 30 years after the war.
After the Second World War, Eduard Gessler, the owner of the ALVATER GESSLER COMPANY in Vienna, Austria, distantly related to the Baczewski family, reacquired the J.A. BACZEWSKI mark. Under Eduard Gessler’s guidance, ALTVATER GESSLER and J.A. BACZEWSKI reunited under the combined name ALTVATER GESSLER - J.A. BACZEWSKI, with its principal place of business in Vienna, Austria.
The reconstituted company continued to specialize in quality alcoholic products for domestic consumption in Austria and for export to various countries in various continents, to include Australia, Africa, Asia, Europe and North America, most notably the United States. Its centuries’ old reputation and record of quality led to its being selected as the only representative of the Austrian liquor industry at the International World Fair in Chicago in 1950.
Eduard Gessler was responsible for the reintroduction of J.A. BACZEWSKI VODKA MONOPOLOWA. MONOPOLOWA is a distinctive potato vodka, produced of a traditional formula, imbued with a distinct intensity, smoothness, depth of flavor and complexity of character, all attributable to a “back-to-basics” tradition of being distilled from potatoes. (Vodka, native to Poland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, as well as Russia, was traditionally assumed to be made from potatoes. Presently, most other vodkas are produced from grain.)
Following Eduard Gessler’s death in 1979, his son Elek Gessler consolidated the affairs of both traditional companies into one new legal entity in 1980, which to this day is known as “ALTVATER GESSLER - J.A. BACZEWSKI, GmbH”, an Austrian corporation. In 1983, Elek Gessler established ALTVATER GESSLER - J.A. BACZEWSKI INTERNATIONAL (USA) INC., a New Jersey, USA, Corporation, to manage United States operations. To this date, both companies are owned solely by the Gessler family.
After Poland regained its independence from the Soviet Union in 1989, the Starogard Gdański based branch of the Polmos company started to produce several of J.A. BACZEWSKI'S products under licence from ALTVATER GESSLER - J.A. BACZEWSKI INTERNATIONAL (USA) INC. However, in the late 1990s the license was terminated and production in Poland was halted.
To this date the "J.A. BACZEWSKI" trademark is owned by ALTVATER GESSLER - J.A. BACZEWSKI INTERNATIONAL (USA) INC.
The ALTVATER GESSLER - J.A. BACZEWSKI companies website is http//:www.agjab.com.