“Never forget efforts, work, and experiences of the previous generation”– Bonollo Distillery
The first official day of the Grappa trip included a wonderful lunch with Bonollo. This family-owned distillery and business has been crafted and perfected through each generation, in which they believe “get the best of what you have with as little waste as possible”.
Grappa is a typical national Italian spirit. In every part of Italy, you will find grappa from the area. Grappa is so largely produced here and is a sustainable product which even it’s waste including the pits can be used in skincare. Grappa links to centuries-old traditions and is one of the most aromatic of raw sold materials aka, grape skins. The skins are what gives this spirit the flavor, and is crucial to producing great grappa.
To make one bottle of grappa, it takes 200lbs of grapes, which is 20lbs of Pomace (grape skins). This is just to make one 750ml bottle of grappa, so you can imagine how much they need to produce even 1,000 bottles! Bonollo produces out of passion and family tradition. They do it right and do it well while maintaining a sustainable footprint ensuring you the best quality grappa. I think that it truly shows when you taste their grappas. The quality is amazing, and the intensity and beautiful flavors come to life in the glass.
We had the opportunity to sit down with Filippo of Bonollo for a delicious lunch followed by a master class on the Grappa of Bonollo! For lunch, we started with a Grappa soda, using Grappa of Prosecco. It was the perfect aperitif and paired nicely with the Scallops and Squid appetizer. We dined in the area of Padova, in Veneto, which is known for grappa and great seafood.
Throughout the lunch, we also enjoyed a selection of steamed clams and mussels, as well as lobster pasta, and tiramisu! Paired was not grappa, but it’s because Filippo wanted us to experience his grappas by themselves, so we could really understand the flavors, aromas, and complexity. With lunch, we enjoyed white wines from the area where Bonollo gets their pomace from. The white wines of Veneto are really something special, and I will totally dive into them in another piece dedicated to wine.
For now, we will stick to Grappa of Bonollo, and I will tell you a bit about the ones we tasted, as well as the dishes I think they would be fun with if you were to try some at home!
Grappa of Bonollo Prosecco: Light and delicate with white pulp fruit notes. This grappa has a soft character and a nice clean finish. This grappa would easily pair well with citrus cocktails and creamy dishes, so try making a Grappa Margarita and pair it with some Carnitas Enchiladas!
Grappa of Bonollo Moscato: Balanced but aromatic and intense with honey and citrus notes. A grappa with frankness and a long clean finish. I would enjoy this grappa in a Negroni, to sweeten it up a bit and add some fruitiness. Food pairing wise, this would be fun with some Italian Charcuterie!
Grappa of Bonollo Amarone Barrique: Introduced in 1999 when grappa had not yet been aged in barrels. Grappa Of Amarone Barrique comes from the distillation of the dried grapes from which the distinctive Amarone Della Valpolicella is produced. This grappa has a long and clean finish with intense red fruit notes, dried fruit, and spice tones. It’s smooth and reminded me of Cognac, which I really loved. This one I would drink on its own with one ice cube, and pair it with a Beef Wellington (if you enjoy it with dinner) or finish the evening with this and Tiramisu.
Grappa of Bonollo Amaro: This one is modern and innovative and combines citrus tones and herbal notes with Grappa of Amarone Barrique. This one would be ideal paired with a cigar, and served neat. Ideally cigar wise, I would pair this with a Davidoff Cigar from the Churchill collection.
Bonollo was a great introduction to grappa! I learned so much during the masterclass and was inspired for the rest of the trip to really dive into the fascinating and unique world of Grappa! Bonollo is available in the USA and can be found at select retailers.