Wine / Vino




What is grappa?

According to European Union regulation 1576/89 and DRP Italiano 297/97, grappa is substantially qualified as:
1. An "aquavite" obtained from the direct distillation of grape dregs (skins and grapes after separation from the entirely or partially fermented must), together with a likely share of wine deposits.
2. The primary materials used must be derived from grapes produced and made into wine in Italy in conformity with the specific enforceable provisions set forth. In addition, production must occur in plants whose bases are located within the Italian territory.

The consequences are two:

1. Grappa is "acquavite" obtained through the distillation of must that enters the still as solid primary material. This is a fundamental presumption because to distill a "vinello" (obtained by leaching the dregs rather than distilling them), reduces the risk of poor production and is far more economical. This method, however, does not lead to the obtaining of a distillate that is marked with aromatic fullness. In contrast, direct distillation permits the obtaining of an optimum aromatic result through the use of the skins and other substances with high aromatic value. In Italy, distillation has always occurred using solid dregs, and throughout the centuries, the difficult technology that typifies the basis for grappa, has been developed and refined.

2. Grappa must be produced in Italy in order to safeguard its particular characteristics - primarily its aromatic qualities, derived from years of experience passed down from generation to generation of master distillers. During the course of the years, more recent generations have learned to adapt and modify their stills modulating their use, relative to the characteristics of each dreg variety and to the specific characteristics of the grappa they wish to obtain. Therefore, each grappa produced can be considered a unique and unrepeatable work of art.

Through the pressing of grapes, both a liquid (must) and solids (dregs) are produced. The dregs are made up of skins, seeds (if not separated) and stems. Dregs are referred to as being sweet (also virgin) when able sugars are present to cause fermentation whereas they are referred to as fermented when sugars have already undergone complete conversion into alcohol. In the first case, dregs are obtained from grapes used in the making of white wine - they must complete the alcoholic fermentation process before being destined for distillation.

Dregs contain a consistent number of volatile components. The most important from a quantitative point of view, are water and alcohol. Substantially, distillation is a physiochemical process that through heating, permits the evaporation of these substances, separating them and salvaging them in liquid form by means of condensation produced as the result temperature reduction.