Grappa is precious
If someone told you that squeezing one ton of oranges would only give you about ten bottles of juice, would you consider orange juice to be a precious drink? Well, with the proper proportions, one ton of grapes makes about eleven bottles of artisanal grappa, the celebrated Italian distillate—or just about eight liters! Distilling is the refined art of subtraction and reduction, as its etymology indicates: de-stillare, or reduce to drops.
FROM THE GRAPE TO THE MARCS
Beginning with the weight of the grapes that are pressed into the marcs and then distilled into grappa, over 99% of the original mass is “lost!” For every ton of grapes—or 1000 kilograms—on average, 100 kg of marcs are used for distilling. The rest is composed of must (80-85%), stems (4-6%), and pips (3-4%).
FROM THE MARCS TO THE GRAPPA
Because the stems and pips are removed from the distillation process (they leave unpleasant aromatic components in the grappa), the marcs are the raw material for making grappa. — READ OUR POST: MARCS: A NOBLE RAW MATERIAL
The process of distillation also gives a fairly low yield. From about 100 kg of marcs, about five liters of dry grappa are produced (that is, 100% ABV grappa), which corresponds to eight liters of grappa at 40% ABV, equal to eleven bottles of 70 cl. In the end, yes—grappa is a precious drink!