Friuli Venezia Giulia is a land with a rich cultural and wine-making heritage. Its tradition of distilling is centuries old and firmly-established among the people of Friuli. Following the Venetian Republic’s dominion of Friuli, starting gradually in the 15th century, the aqua-vitae trade enjoyed new developments thanks to the Padua doctor Michele Savonarola (1384-1462), an innovator interested in distillation. The creation of the Distillers’ Guild in Venice in 1601 also had an influence in Friuli.
At the end of the 19th century, Emilio Comboni revolutionised the method of distilling with his steam still. Welcomed by many distilleries, this type of still was flanked in the post-War period by continuous-cycle industrial systems. Production thus became differentiated between those who distil in large quantities and those who distil using manual methods and in small quantities.
Friuli grows many white grapes such as Tocai Friulano, Malvasia Istriana, Ribolla Gialla, Riesling, Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Pinot Bianco and the rare Picolit. Red grapes include Franconia, Refosco dal Peduncolo Rosso, Pignolo, Cabernet, Merlot and Pinot Nero.
The Grappa of Friuli Venezia Giulia is very variegated, proposing a style more tied to the dryness of the distillate, for palates wanting a strong taste, and also smoother and fruity, elegant Grappas with floral notes appreciated by many tasters.