On the blogby Alfred
March 19 2019

Grappa by Poli

by Pascale Lemieux

The Poli distillery produces liquors, spirits and eaux-de-vie made with fruit, but their top product is uncontestably the Grappa. The distillery and the Poli museum can both be visited in the same area, in Bassano del Grappa in Veneto, in the north of Italy, a historical location for the production of Grappa. Even if the distillery was founded in 1898, the artisanal origins of the Poli family date back to the 1400’s. It is quite evident that the Poli family has built itself a world renowned reputation with its exceptional products, its unique signature passed on from generation to generation and by the importance of always honoring the brand based on family values for many centuries.



History and legislation

The marc or eau-de-vie-de marc de raisin can be replaced by the Grappa denomination for the spirits produced in Italy, Saint-Marin or Tessin. In all the countries that produce wine, the marc, named vinaccia in Italian (all the dry residues resulting in the pressuring and the crushing of the grapes) is distilled to produce an eau-de-vie that is commercialized under different names. The most known ones are from France and can be found in stores under the name “marc d’Alsace”, as an example. The other spirits produced this way are mostly consumed locally; in Greece, they are known as tsipouro, chacha in Georgia or orujoin Spain. None of these products have managed to reach a level of popularity similar to the one of the Grappa. There are three categories of Grappa: non-aged (the most popular kind), aged and aromatized. It is allowed to add up to 20g of sugar per liter to the final product or caramel if the Grappa has aged for at least one year. The Vecchiaor Invecchiata are used to inform us that the Grappa has aged for at least one year, and the Riserva or Stravecchia designations are used when the Grappa has aged for a minimum of 18 months. No more than two varietals can be listed on the label and this certifies that at least 85% of the marc of this varietal was used in the elaboration of the Grappa.



Production

For the Poli domain, the quality of the product is synonymous with the raw materials used. The grapes are meticulously selected in the cities surrounding the distillery, from Bassano del Grappa to Marostica and Breganze, renowned locations for viticulture in Veneto and for the production of Grappa. Afterwards, the distillation is crucial, as the grapes must be brought to the distillery quickly to avoid oxidation. The higher quality marcs are obtained from nearby vineyards to be immediately distilled in bain-mariestills. These traditional stills allow for a distillation of the marcs without burning the solid part during the process. A marc that wouldn’t be distilled quickly could contain a high level of methanol (the alcohol that should only be found in small doses in the final product). The traditional stills are made of copper, which allows for the chemical reactions to happen, eliminating the volatile sulphur components and simplifying the processes that tend to create a fruity character to the distilled substance. The distillation process is discontinuous, which means that the marc is placed in copper stills and distilled with steam. After around three hours, the contents are emptied and filled once again with new marc to repeat the cycle of distillation. The motto of the Poli family is the following: “The secret to distillation of an excellent Grappa is simple; a fresh marc of quality grapes combined with a century’s worth of experience!”

The story behind the Poli Cleopatra Moscato Oro

This product is named Cleopatra to honor the spirit of this alchemist of Ancient Egypt and her creation of the first still destined to distil gold, a still that was named Crysopea. During the 21stcentury, after many years of research, the distillery launched a new Crysopea that would completely revolutionize the distillation process, creating the first Poli Moscato Oro product. It can be tasted in a fine tulip glass. This type of glass allows for the aromas to be concentrated through the narrow opening of the glass, allowing for the alcohol particles to be far enough to not cover the aromas of the Grappa. There is a Poli Cleopatra Moscato Oro.

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