Living in Italy does have its perks and we were recently invited to visit the villages own local, family run distillery by the lovely older lady who lives next door and brings us baskets of apples! How could we possibly say no? Grappa is a fragrant, grape-based pomace brandy of Italian origin that contains 35 to 60 percent alcohol by volume and is consumed in large quantities in the North of Italy especially in the alps where it is served at the Mountain Refugios to warm the hikers from the inside!
The Fedrizzi Distilleria is the only Distillery in the village of Toss in the Brenta Dolomites. Surrounded by towering mountains and lush green orchards it is the perfect location for producing a wide variety of alcoholic beverages.
Toss is a sleepy little community with a small church and only one shop. One notable feature is the huge medieval Castel Thun that looks down on the village from part way up the mountain side. The village is surrounded by orchards that produce apples of the Golden Delicious variety which is strange as Grappa is made with grapes! This is not a problem though as the grapes are brought in from different vineyards in the Trento area as each location produces a different flavour and thus a different type of Grappa.
The Distillery is a modern building where Stefano and his wife and two children occupy the expansive apartment upstairs while the distillation and bottling happens in the cavernous warehouse room. The Distillation is done in a pair of beautiful Bain Maries clad in polished copper and stainless steel. This is the traditional way of distilling the Grappa as it was done by Stefano’s father before him.
The Distillery currently produces around 14 variety’s of Grappa and liqueur’s such as Grappas infused with different Alpine herbs and Grappas flavoured with famous wine grapes such as Cabernet or Pino Grigio. They also make something known as Bombardino that is extremely popular in the Italian Ski Resorts. A bright orange concoction made of Grappa and egg whites, it is served piping hot with whipped cream piled on top and is sure to warm the coldest of Skiers!
With all these different types of Grappas around it is definitely time to experiment with some Grappa cocktails!!