Three things you didn’t know about Grappa
Can you produce as much grappa as you want? Is the grappa we drink the one distilled from the still? Can the distillation technique be explained with a didactic game?
If you have ever asked yourself one of these questions, we have the article for you. Three curiosities about the world of Grappa that (perhaps) you may not have known about.
GRAPPA IS LIMITED BY ITS OWN NATURE
Let’s start with a datum. On average, every year, 80,000 hectares of Grappa are produced in Italy. With heptanhydro we mean a hectolitre of Grappa made up of anhydrous alcohol (ie «without water», ie at a 100% alcohol content). Now, however, let’s make a paradox. If all adult people in Europe wanted to drink a glass of grappa and if we had the technical means to distil such an amount of Grappa, could production increase until the demand was met?
The answer is no. Grappa comes from the pomace obtained from Italian vines suitable for producing wine. If, paradoxically, to produce enormous quantities of vodka or whiskey, a distiller could buy cereals from all over the world, Grappa, on the other hand, has precise “natural” limits, that is those of the annual production of grapes used for winemaking. Therefore, the production of Grappa is a niche: even if it became the most requested distillate on the world market, it would still not be able to produce the required quantities, if not by increasing (which happens very slowly) the areas of vineyards dedicated to the production of wine.
GRAPPA MUST BE DILUTED WITH WATER
As a rule, a grappa produced by hand with discontinuous distillation (i.e. artisanal), reaches an alcohol content of 60-80 °. The law, however, requires that Grappa must be marketed between 37.5 and 60 °. The distiller then proceeds with the operation called alcohol reduction: a part of water, suitably demineralized, is added to the “raw” grappa. The demineralized water dilutes the grappa without creating cloudiness or deposits (grappa is rich in oils that would condense on contact with H2O) and lowers the alcohol content. The distillate obtained is softer, less burning, able to fully express all the characteristics of the grape it belongs to.
Read our in-depth study on Alcohol Reduction
THE BOARD GAME THAT TEACHES HOW TO MANAGE A DISTILLERY
Well yes, they did. In 2022 Distilled will be released, the board game that will put you at the helm of a distillery. It is a highly thematic title where you will play the role of a master distiller on the hunt for success. The game (as we read on the site) takes inspiration from the production processes of a real distillery: you will find yourself managing the resources available, buying the raw materials, making the recipes, establishing the right aging and – obviously – battling it out to sell your product on the market. The goal is only one: to create the best distillate in the world!