Kinds of Grappas
Grappa is classified according to its age, the grape or grapes from which the marc was obtained and, possibly, the vegetable essences used to flavour it.
Grappa is therefore classified as:
Giovane (Young) – after production remains in stainless steel tanks till the bottling;
Aromatica (Aromatic) – made from aromatic or semi-aromatic grapes such as Muscat, Gewürztraminer, Malvasia, etc.;
Affinata (Refined) – bottled after ageing for less than 12 months in wooden barrels;
Invecchiata or Vecchia (Aged or Old) - bottled after ageing for 12 to 18 months in wooden barrels;
Stravecchia or Riserva (Very Old or Reserve) - bottled after ageing for more than 18 months in wooden barrels;
Single Variety – obtained from the marc of just one variety of grapes, which is usually given on the label;
Polivitigno (Poly-variety) – obtained with a cuvée of single grape varieties belonging to the same family but different for clone, provenance, ripening period, harvest times and vinification method;
Aromatizzata (Flavoured) - Grappa in which a natural substance of vegetable origin (i.e. Blueberry, Liquorice, Rue herb, ect.) was placed in infusion after the distillation, thus enriched with the herb/fruit own officinal properties
As can be seen from this summary classification, the word Grappa clearly holds various meanings. And if one considers the geographic provenance of a given type of marc – for example, Grappa of Müller Thurgau from the Trentino area, Grappa of Cabernet and Merlot from Veneto, etc. - there will be a much wider and more variegated panorama of Grappa. This is why it is more correct to say that there are Grappas, with all their particularities and variants, and not only Grappa in general. Every Grappa production area has a centuries-old wealth of tradition and culture in distillation that makes each type of Grappa different from the others, giving enthusiasts and connoisseurs the opportunity of exploring the very large variety that the Italian distillate par excellence has to offer.