DISCOVER THE GRAPPA / HISTORY
No one knows for certain neither when Grappa is born or who first discovered that the alcohol could be obtained from marcs . What is certain is that Grappa, and even more distillation in general, has its roots in the most ancient history, made of testimonies and legends, tales handed down and written, firstly describing it as an alchemical product aimed at medicinal and pharmacological uses, then as a distilled linked to food consumption. We retrace together the evolution of this ancient distillate….a journey through centuries, begun in ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia, then moving to Greece, to arrive to Europe and thus to Italy.
Egyptians and distillation
Egyptians were familiar with distillation of wine and cider. Cleopatra, a scientist with the same name of the most famous queen, described carefully alembics used at that time for distillation of essences.
The Roman legionnaire
According to the legend, an unknown Roman legionnaire coming from Friuli, came back from the campaign in Egypt with a stolen distillation plant called “Crisiopea of Cleopatra”. Applying his knowledge of distillation to marcs, obtained from his own vineyard, he produced the first Italian grappa.
Pliny the Elder
In his Naturalis Historiae he mentions the various and empirical stages of the art of distillation.
The school of Salerno
The Salernitan school also pays much attention to the distillation, because of the effective use of distillates in the medical field. It deals with the distillation of medicinal plants or flowers rather than alcohol raw materials like wine or marcs. The distilled quintessence, since it was pure, had to cure of illnesses due to impurities.
“De conficienda Aqua Vitae”
Savonarola (great uncle of the famous monk), a physician of Padova, published the first treatise on eaux de vie obtained from wine. The treatise is called “De Conficienda Acqua Vitae”: here the distillate, meaning as water of life, is used in medicine and not yet as a drink for the consumer discretionary
Leonardo Da Vinci
Leonardo Da Vinci contributed to the art of distillation, improving the cooling of vapours outbound from the boiler. In this way, the selection and separation of the liquids produced by the condensation of the vapours, became easier.
The eau de vie becomes liqueur
The eau de vie, which until before this century was used only for medicinal purposes, was served for the first time as a liquor.
Catherine De’ Medici
Italian eaux de vie and liqueurs, come to the Parisian court of Catherine De’ Medici. At that time, the eau de vie was considered, almost exclusively, as a wine distillate.
Venice and the “Acquavitari”
In Venice, factories and workshops of eaux de vie become numerous by now. Thus, the “corporation of acquavitari” was born.
The Jesuit Father Athanasius Kircher, in conjunction with Francesco Lana de Terzi, acknowledges that even the marcs, cheaper than wine, can become a source of alcohol. In this period, Jesuits began their studies on the production of alcoholic products to for feeding.
The first distillation plants
The first column of distillation of the history was built, making spirits cheaper in their production. At this time the first distillation plants specific for marcs were created.
Tax on spirits
The tax on spirits production was set up and in 1888 was granted the family distillation of no more than 50 liters of eau de vie a year.
The first official acknowledgement
In 1900 the term “grappa”, already used in everyday language, was finally introduced in the national dictionary.
Spirits of “Alpini”
With World War I and the sending of millions of soldiers from each part of Italy to the front, the knowledge of the grappa “Acquavite degli Alipini” spreads.
The success of mass communication and advertising in the Sixties, encourages the spread of grappa in the market of spirits.
The “single grape” comes to life
Many producers of Grappa start a phase of intense studies and researches in order to improve the quality standards of distillates and production techniques. At this time, the new single grape segment begins pushing its way, thanks to which grappas connotations of smoothness and delicacy, hardly found in grappas distilled until now, are guaranteed. Such characteristics arouse a great interest in many quality-conscious and demanding consumers.
In October the 20th a new design product is born: “L’acquavite d’uva”
An Italian product
Grappa is acknowledged solely as an Italian product and defined by European laws as Italian by law and tradition. The first Frattina Chardonnay single grape grappa is born; then, that of Sauvignon, Pinot Bianco, Moscato and Prosecco follow. The leading characteristics of all Frattina grappas become immediately the smoothness and delicacy, which are obtained only from the distillation of a single grape variant.
“Accademia delle Grappe e delle Acquaviti”
“L’Accademia delle Grappe e delle Acquaviti” was founde
North – Center – South
Grappa Frattina starts a new adventure…Frattina extends its range of products, with special grappas, such as “Barrique di Cabernet and Clarae Uvae”, and exclusive obtained by the distillation of grape varieties, characteristic not only of the North Italy, but also of the Center, like “Montepulciano” and “Chianti”, and the South, like “Nero d’Avola”, “Greco di Tufo” and “Aglianico”.
Ut is a new, but also ancient sound: in Latin is a conjunction that indicates a goal, an aim. Is “TU” (“you”) read backwards. The bottle design reveals its essence: a product from an ancient tradition but with a modern and elegant dress. UT Frattina is dedicated to experts, to those who choose only high quality products. A Family of valuable distillates which includes a selection of three Grappas, Zibibbo di Trapani, Pinot dell’Oltrepò Pavese, Amarone della Valpolicella, and an Acquavite d’uva, Frattina Müller-Thurgau.
Restyling: a new look with the usual quality
Frattina renews its range in a modern and fresh way, highlighting the sophisticated style of Grappa Frattina and its new brand identity, maintaining the elegance that distinguishes the brand. More and more clear are the traits that distinguish the Grappa Frattina: the diamond label with a splash of color that allows to immediately recognize the variety of grape used for the distillation, the clear bottle that makes the protagonist the purity of the distillate, the bunch of grapes, signature and guarantee of quality, fine and round scent, taste and clean smooth.
A new range of spirits
The new line of distillates aged in barrels Frattina is dedicated to those who choose only quality products, who wants to transform the moment of tasting in a moment of refined pleasure.Frattina has released three new references designed to meet the wishes of the most demanding in the field of taste: Barrique Fumé – Grappa of Cabernet aged for more than 12 months in toasted barrels, Riserva Barrique – Grappa of Chardonnay coming from white marc and aged in barrels for more than 24 months and Amor Ligneo – Acquavite di vino aged for more than 24 months in barriques.
Frattina expanded its range with two new flavour nuances
Frattina Bianca is an intense and balanced distillation, which combines carefully selected vinasse in perfect harmony. Its aroma is thus uniquely broad and airy with spicy and lightly herbaceous hints.
Fumo di Rovere is a distillate aged in barrels that pursues the path of patience while waiting for the resulting invariably structured with a precious aroma. The magical alchemy of wood, impregnated by the old seasons of nature, enriched with unpredictable nuances in a harmonious fruity bouquet that the palate cannot forget.