Venice, Bassano del Grappa and Monte Grappa are names that, for various reasons, have been linked to aqua-vitae for centuries.
Even if a relationship between the word Grappa and the mountain of the same name cannot be established with certainty, these lands have had an old and fundamental role in the production of our distillate.
And why is there this keen and centuries-old interest in Grappa?
One reason for the popularity of the wine distillate is due to the Padua doctor Michele Savonarola (1384-1462), who published the first treatise, “De Conficienda Aqua Vitae”, on the preparation of aqua-vitae. It is possible that soon after its publication, marc began to be distilled, if that practice was not already in use. But it is absolutely certain that in Venice, in 1601, distillers formed a guild; and when the number of aqua-vitae shops and distilleries became so numerous in Venice, at the beginning of the 18th century there was even the Calle and Ponte della Acquavitai (respectively distillers’ lane and distillers’ bridge).
Today, Veneto is the largest producer of wine in Italy, with the highest concentrations of production in the provinces of Verona and Treviso. Many types of vine species are grown: the white grapes include Prosecco, white Muscat, Sauvignon, Verduzzo, Chardonnay, Pinot Bianco and Vespaiolo; the red grapes include Cabernet, Merlot, Tocai Rosso, Corvina, Molinara, Rondinella, Friulano and Raboso. With this enormous production, there is no shortage of fresh marc, making Veneto also the number one producer of Grappa in Italy.
Discontinuous-cycle stills are widely used, like the flowing steam boilers, but the 1960’s saw the introduction of continuous-cycle industrial systems.
However, there are also distilleries that use both methods, offering consumers a great variety of Grappas in terms of taste.