istilled spirits exist throughout the world and are made from all sorts of different things. The term ‘Grappa’, however, is applied exclusively to Italian spirits made from the distillation of fresh grape skins to which a certain quantity of wine sediment can be added. The authenticity of Grappa is defined by UE Regulations, in addition to local culture and tradition.
The origins of Grappa are shrouded in legend and are certainly very ancient. It is said that a Roman legionary brought a still and the know-how required for the distillation of wine back to Italy from Egypt. The process was probably fairly similar to the one still used today.
Barolo Grappa is made entirely from the skins of grapes used to make Barolo wine – that is, from the skins of Nebbiolo grapes used to produce Barolo. These richly juicy skins undergo a slow and gentle process of fermentation to maintain flavours intact.
Distillation of authentic Barolo Grappa takes place only in traditional ‘steam’ stills which allow for a very gentle process to unfold, the elimination of all impurities and the production of the best quality Grappa.
Clear, pure Grappa is obtained directly from the still and is then transferred to special old wood barrels –chestnut wood is often used – where it is aged at length within the area of the winery specifically dedicated to this process.
The Grappa obtained by this process possesses all the perfumes and organoleptic characteristics of its noble Barolo base. The flavour is delicate and velvety and includes both soft and dry notes.
In addition, ageing in small chestnut barrels gives this Grappa an unmistakeable delicate straw-yellow colour.
True Barolo Grappa is, therefore, a single varietal Grappa, completely pure, and aged in wood without the addition of any flavourings whatsoever. It must contain a minimum of 40% alcohol by volume, although it is usually around 43%, and should be served at a temperature of about 17° C.
A small to medium tulip glass with a small bulb allows the conossieur to savour this Grappa’s very special organoleptic characteristics, aromas and perfumes at their best.