In order to be marketed, Grappa must have an alcoholic content of not less than 37.5% in volume (40% for the Grappa with a Geographic Indications). The alcohol strength is obtained by means of dilution with water, in accordance with the provision of Presidential Decree no. 236/88.
The vine species most used in the production of Grappa are Muscat, Chardonnay, Cabernet, Pinot and Prosecco.
In Italy there are nearly 130 Grappa producers. There are no official data available, however it is possible to estimate that 63% of the distilleries are in the north-east, followed by the north-west with a much lower 23%. In central-southern Italy there are a little over 14% of the companies. The majority of Grappa distilleries are in Veneto with 45, with 38 in the Trentino and 24 in Piedmont. Yet it is surprising that Tuscany has only 4 and Sicily just 3.
With the 1-litre and 1,5-litre bottles almost entirely no longer used, the most used glass format is the 700 ml, even if the half-litre and 100 ml formats have been welcomed by Grappa drinkers.
However, some producers are “reviving” the old 2 and 3-litres bottles, even if almost exclusively for display purposes.
Grappa comes under the category of spirits and, as such, is taxed by the State through the excise on alcohol. In the case in question, the tax-rate refers to the anhydrous litre, i.e. the unit of volume net of water (the word anhydrous comes from the Greek and means without water). Example: a one-litre bottle of 40° proof Grappa contains 1x40:100 = 0.4 anhydrous litres of alcohol, whereas a full litre of product is called hydrated litre. The amount paid to the State for every anhydrous litre of alcohol produced in the Grappa category is equal to € 10,3552.
According to the data spread by AssoDistil, the production of Grappa in 2018 was of 8.500.000 litters and it is considered stable in relationship to the last ten years, with a yearly production between 8.000.000 and 9.000.000 litters.
On the export front, the Grappa in bulk in 2018 has Germany as its first target market (86%), followed by Spain (6%) and Switzerland (4%).
Same goes for the bottles export in 2018: Germany (60%), Switzerland (10%) and Austria (5%).