"Our grappa is inspired by the majestic Dolomite mountains, the slow passage of time, and harmony with our natural surroundings: our spirits are important, elegant, and extremely well-balanced."
L'arte della distillazione
For the Pisoni family, distilling grappa is an art. There are no schools that teach distillation. In this field, progress is made by a combination of experience and experimentation. The modern distillery, refurbished in 2003 and designed directly by the owners, is the fruit of technological evolution, guided by the four generations that made their contribution in terms of innovation and the experience they handed down. From the first small copper alembic stills from the end of the Nineteenth century, which were heated by wood fire, we have reached the current steam-powered system, in which one can admire the double boilers beneath the beautiful columns, which are also rigorously made of copper. A significant contribution to this evolution was provided by Tullio Zadra (1905/1991), a master coppersmith in Trentino and Arrigo Pisoni's father in law, known for having introduced double-boiler distillation with tray-operated distillation columns to the Trentino area. Some parts of the system still bear the plaque of his renowned workshop.
Grappa distillation is performed with great respect for a fundamental rule of production: to use raw materials of exceptional quality and freshness. The marc, coming from the wine-making process with grapes, is handed to the master distiller before it can deteriorate, and it is patiently distilled in order to extract its true aromatic essence. In this phase, it is worth mentioning that the Pisoni family has refused to introduce automated systems to the process, in the belief that the only truly trustworthy instrument in distinguishing the numerous aromatic compositions in grappa is the human nose. This is why the delicate separation of the various components of distillation (the "head", "heart" and "tail") is performed by means of an organoleptic analysis, directly by the master distiller.
And it is specifically the heart of the distillation that will become grappa - a product as clear as water, but also one that rewards one with inebriating emotions, reminding the taster of the raw material it is derived from.
After a resting period in stainless steel vats, the grappa is ready for transformation: dilution with the purest water, to attenuate the alcohol content, and filtration to make it shine like a diamond.
An important variation is to age the grappa in oak barrels - barriques - that give the spirit - in addition to its amber colour - greater complexity thanks to the aromas extracted from the wood, including vanilla, cocoa, tobacco, and chocolate. Here too, the Pisoni family uses a small secret: they do not only use new barrels, but also those that were used to age wines. The barrique gives the grappa the aromatic compounds left behind by the wine, intensifying its structure.
Before bottling, a grappa sample is sent to the Istituto di Tutela della Grappa Trentina [the Institute for the Protection of Grappa from the Trento region] where it is subjected to strict chemical and organoleptic analysis. The reference parameters in the institute's rules are very restrictive, and make Grappa Trentina certification - represented by the trident label - a prestigious acknowledgement of quality.