When Grappa Is Art
Making grappa is an art, but can art add value to grappa? Many people have wondered this, and today all the major artisan distilleries use the medium of art to highlight the exclusivity of their product.
Partly because – as we have seen in previous posts – Grappa is precious, the Italian spirit par excellence is a rare thing, born of a raw material that’s limited in terms of quantity (the pomace comes from grapes used to make wine) and also geographically (only Italian pomace can be distilled to make grappa). Furthermore, if the grappa is single-variety – like Grappa di Arneis, Grappa di Moscato or Grappa di Barolo (made from Nebbiolo grapes grown within the Barolo DOC area), the quantity of raw material available is set by the same production regulations as the associated wine.
The Gianni Gallo labels
Marolo too, has always considered the art of making grappa a perfect subject for art. This was the case in 1977 when Paolo Marolo, who at the time taught a course in Herbalism at the Alba School of Winemaking, decided to entrust his labels to Gianni Gallo, an extrovert and extremely gifted artist from Dogliani; over the years, these labels helped to shape the very image of the Marolo brand.
The artistic redemption of grappa
Telling the world about grappa using art, endowing it with a valuable aesthetic vehicle, also acts as a genuine liberation for a spirit which, for too long, was considered a mere afterthought. Grappa is authentic, it is born and bred on the land as a distillation of a by-product: pomace. But single-variety grappa, rediscovered in the 1970s, takes this Italian spirit back to its age-old traditions, methods and knowledge, whose roots lie in the secrets of Alchemy and whose techniques are far from coarse and rudimentary.
Special packaging and blown glass bottles
And it’s not just about Gianni Gallo’s labels. In the course of its history, Marolo has created some very special crystal containers: blown glass bottles and decanters made by top designers to highlight the prestigious nature of our grappas. These are limited edition artworks, produced to mark anniversaries or dedicated to collectors, and they are as sought-after as their contents: only the rarest of grappas, from exceptional vintages or particularly aged, are worthy of such vessels, all numbered and presented in extraordinary cases.