|Grappa is exclusively an Italian product obtained by distillation of the lees of the wine (the fermented skins). Its origins are found in the 16th Century, and Piedmont is one of Italy’s regions with the longest tradition of production. Over time, the production process was modified from simple stills heated over a direct flame to those using steam and a bain-marie (double boiler) process, similar to a Caffey still.
Michele Chiarlo grappa is distilled in small copper stills using a bain-marie steaming process. Relatively slow and costly, these methods produce a gentle grappa which retains the characteristics of the grape varieties from which they’re produced. A fine grappa is critically dependent on the distillation of fresh lees. Michele Chiarlo’s attention to this criterion and the design of the distillation facility allows for the completion of the production process within a few days after the end of fermentation. Superb grapes, extraordinary skill and the meticulous care of Michele Chiarlo’s master distiller yields a very delicate grappa that shows the typicity of the fine grape varieties used to craft it.
About three hundred kilos of must are placed in each small copper still, and worked for only 60 minutes per cycle. The must is distilled to no higher than 70% abv. The grappa is aged in stainless steel tanks for 10-12 months and bottled without undergoing refinement in oak barrels.