Grappa is exclusively an Italian product obtained by distillation of the lees of the wine (the fermented skins). Its origins are found in the 16th Century, and Piedmont is one of Italy’s regions with the longest tradition of production. Over time, the production process was modified from simple stills heated over a direct flame to those using steam and a bain-marie (double boiler) process, similar to a Caffey still.
Michele Chiarlo grappa is distilled in small copper stills using a bain-marie steaming process. Relatively slow and costly, these methods produce a gentle grappa which retains the characteristics of the grape varieties from which it is produced. A fine grappa is critically dependent on the distillation of fresh lees. Michele Chiarlo’s attention to this criterion and the design of the distillation facility allows for the completion of the production process within a few days after the end of fermentation. Superb grapes, extraordinary skill and the meticulous care of Michele Chiarlo’s master distiller yields a very delicate grappa that shows the typicity of the fine grape varieties that are used to craft it.
Two to three tons of must are placed in each small copper still, and worked for only 30 minutes per cycle. The must is distilled to no higher than 70% abv. The grappa is aged in 225-liter barrels for 10-12 months.
Grappa di Barolo shows delicate and persistent dark berry aromas and structured, harmonious and balanced flavors of the pomace from Nebbiolo grapes.
Usually served neat after dessert.
points of distinction
- Distilled from fresh Nebbiolo grape pomace
- As freshness of the lees is key to ultimate quality, distillation is carried out within days of fermentation
- Though slow and costly, distillation in small, copper stills using a bain-marie yields a gentle grappa which retains Nebbiolo’s unique character
- Distillation facility design ensures pomace of maximal freshness is completely distilled within days of fermentation for highest quality
- Experience and skill enable Michele Chiarlo’s Master Distiller to craft delicate grappas that show the typicity of their grape varieties
about the grape +
Young Nebbiolo can be tough, acidic and tannic; but mature, its blackberry and wild cherry flavors and aromas develop complex and sublime violet, rose petal, truffle and tar notes.
– Michele Chiarlo, Winemaker
“My aim has always been but one: quality.”
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