Marolo «Harvests» Single Vineyard Grappas
Can we talk about harvest with a distillery?
Harvest refers to the collection of grapes from a specific production area in a certain period of time. This implies dividing the grapes according to varietal, cru and types of wine. It also means carrying out separate vinifications and planning out the ensuing aging processes.
The term «harvest» encloses all of these different meanings. In the same fashion – but with due distinction – Marolo also carries out its own «harvest» during autumn.
Let’s see the process in detail.
THE TIME OF THE «POMACE»
The first and most important matter to consider is harvesting at the «right time» to bring perfectly ripe grapes to the cellar. The autumn season is characterized by sudden weather variations that affect the health and organoleptic composition of the berries. Pomace also has a right moment for distillation: “fresher” pomace better characterizes future grappas. Up until a few decades ago (but it still happens to this day), pomace was kept in cement silos for a long time. These places were usually humid and unfit for storing: mold and bacteria proliferated, thus giving the final product vinegary and pungent hints. This is why Marolo has chosen to not ensile pomace and instead distill the entire production shortly after harvest, usually from September to December: this guarantees fresh and noble raw materials that will turn into outstanding grappas.
Only fresh pomace undergoes distillation: but that’s not the only measure of quality. Pomace must be in excellent condition, without molds or any organoleptic defect, and at the right stage of fermentation. Just like on the sorting tables, Marolo carries out the same selection method from the source. The decade-long relationships Marolo has established with his suppliers and the mutual respect they have for each other allow Marolo to have the best raw material: selected pomace from grapes that have made outstanding Langhe and Roero wines.
SINGLE VINEYARD GRAPPA
We are now at a crucial stage of distillation for Marolo, the one that endows the «character» of the harvest. Up until the ‘70s, grappas in Italy were produced using undifferentiated pomace. These were rustic and “masculine” distillates that were drunk young and white, without any pretense to provide pleasure. The change of tastes and the increasing attention to quality led to the production of monovarietal grappas, which were made from a single grape variety. Most of the grappas in the market today belong to this category: we can mention Grappa di Moscato, Grappa di Arneis, Grappa di Barbera or Grappa di Nebbiolo.
But some of the grappas produce by Marolo are even more “specific”: the pomace used not only belongs to the same variety, but also comes from the same MGAs. We are talking about Marolo’s single-vineyard grappas: the finest fruits of an artisanal production distinguished by selection and exclusivity. Single vineyard grappas can be likened to what the world of wine defines as “cru”: limited and numbered labels that embody the particular expression of an exceptional vineyard. In a similar manner, Marolo’s single-vineyard grappas come from the most noble Langhe crus: vineyards endowed with exceptional quality and have long been at the top of their respective denominations.
Let’s know more about these exceptional grappas.
GRAPPA DI BAROLO BRUNATE | Exclusively made from Nebbiolo grapes grown in Brunate Menzione Geografica Aggiuntiva (MGA): one of the most important crus of Barolo and producing some of the denomination’s most prominent labels. This is a vintage grappa, one that bears the year of harvest on its label. Sublime, intense and a remarkably complex distillate: hints of blackberries, violet and ripe red fruit perfectly blend with balsamic and spicy notes, which are typical of Brunate.
GRAPPA DI BAROLO BUSSIA | Bussia is one of the most historic Barolo crus, long known for its vocation to Nebbiolo. Renowned for its extraordinary location and soils, this MGA yields Barolo wines that have made the history of the «King of Wines». Pomace from this area gives life to an impressive and balanced grappa, distinguished by a noble nature and notes of almond, tobacco and licorice. A “gem” that embodies the most iconic Barolo cru.
GRAPPA DI BARBARESCO RABAJÀ | No vineyard in Barbaresco, a hilly area situated east of Alba, is more famous than Rabajà, which is also an MGA. The wines are characterized by remarkable delicacy and sapid minerality. The intense aromas of Rabajà are enclosed in an extraordinarily delicate grappa distinguished by a complex but not complicated flavor: the symbol of finesse and elegance.