Nonino – on of the best grappa distilleries of Italy



Pomace spirits are produced in almost all European wine producing countries. Italians call their version grappa, which they enjoy after dinner on its own or in their coffee.

Grappa is a pomace brandy that contains 35 to 60 per cent ABV. The quality and fragrance depend on the quality of the grapes and distillation technique. Aquavite d’uva is distilled from teh must.

Grappa may be cask conditioned, young, or aromatic, or aromatized. The purist looks for young or cask-conditioned grappas.

The best way to enjoy grappa is slightly chilled, (18 C) with hard biscuits spread with acacia honey, and topped with Montasio or Parmegiano reggiano shavings.

Nonino established in 1897, in Friuli, is considered one of the best grappa distilleries of Italy and also produces aquavite d’uva, liqueurs, and amaro bitters.

Nonino’s grappas stand out, since they are distilled in copper batch stills powered by steam and using fresh pomace.

Nonino’s grappas are aged in small casks,  and some larger than standard versions, and are called riserva, ( five years old, 8, 4 or 26). In addition, Nonino produces and markets varietal eaux de vie (fruit brandy) using cabernet franc, fragolino (strawberries, schioppetino, moscato gialla, Muller-Thurgau, traminer, and verduzzo using grapes grown on company vineyards.

Giovella a honey distillate, eaux de vie of plums, Williams pears, cherries, one bitter, and one almond flavoured plum eau de vie.

Recently, Elisabetta one of teh four sisters who now manage the distillery was in Toronto, and invited restaurateurs and wine writers for a tasting.

Grappa Friulano is 43 per cent ABV – smooth, soft, with a clear finish

Merlot Grappa – aromas of plums dominate the nose, smooth with a long finish

Il Fragolino – offers excellent complexity, depth, softness, and fine finish.

Eau de vie Williams Pear – ripe pear aromas waft out of the glass, excellent depth. A refined distillate to enjoy after an extended meal.

Amaro – off dry, herbal and spicy. Intriguing, complex and highly enjoyable.

Prunella mandorlata – excellent balance of fruits, almonds and sweetness. Smooth, with a long and enjoyable finish

Nonino products are frequently featured in Vintages bi-weekly releases. A range of Nonino products can be ordered from Halpern Enterprises. adam@halpern.com

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