Geographical Indication Grappa di Barolo is exclusively reserved for the grape marc produced from raw materials derived from the vinification of grapes suitable for producing the wine with the designation of origin Barolo DOCG (in accordance with its production specification), distilled and processed in plants situated in the Piedmont Region.
The production area of Grappa di Barolo GI is within the entire territory of the Piedmont Region.
Grappa di Barolo GI is produced through distillation, directly by water vapor or after water has been added in the pot still, of fermented grape marc deriving from the vinification of grapes suitable for producing the wine with the designation of origin Barolo DOCG. Liquid natural lees of wine suitable for producing Barolo DOCG can be utilized up to a maximum of 25 kg for each 100 kg of grape marc. The quantity of alcohol derived from the lees may not exceed 35 percent of the total quantity of alcohol in the finished product. The liquid natural lees of wine suitable for producing Barolo DOCG can be used in the following ways: by adding them to the grape marc before proceeding with distillation; by removing – at the same time – the alcohol from both the grape marc and lees, and starting the distillation of the mixture obtained from the two phlegms; by removing – separately – the alcohol from both the grape marc and lees, and starting the distillation process immediately. These operations must take place in the same distillation plant. The distillation - in continuous or batch plants - of fermented grape marcs should be carried out at less than 86% by volume. Within this limit the obtained product may be re-distilled. The addition of the following is also permitted:- sugars, up to a maximum of 20 g of sugar per litre, expressed as invert sugar; - caramel, only to grappa that has been aged for at least 12 months, in accordance with current national and European regulations.Grappa di Barolo GI can only be aged in wooden barrels, vats or containers. The terms Vecchia (old) or Invecchiata (aged), can be used on the labels and for the promotion of grappa that has been aged in not varnished or dipped wooden containers for at least 12 months, subjected to official controls and in plants situated within the territory of the Piedmont region. The terms Riserva (reserve) or Stravecchia (extra-old) can be used for grappa that has been aged for at least 18 months.
The production of grappa in the Piedmont Region has ancient origins. In the Nineteenth century, Camillo Benso, Count of Cavour – the most important political leader at that time – liked very much the grape marc spirits obtained from the grapes of the region’s vineyards. Then as now, the Nebbiolo grape variety was widespread throughout Piedmont. In the following century, the superior quality of the Nebbiolo grapes grown in a particular area near the city of Alba was revealed and identified. Consequently, also the grappa produced with the marc of those grapes became famous. In 1966, the Barolo wine officially obtained recognition as a designation of origin. At the same time, the grappa obtained from the wine’s grape marc started to be valorised, and it was sold as “Grappa di Barolo” even before legislation provided for the use of the designation. The product soon became well-known and appreciated throughout the world, together with Barolo wine. With the Regulation (EEC) No. 1576/89, Grappa di Barolo GI was inserted for the first time in Annex II of European geographical designations for spirits.
Grappa di Barolo GI is produced through distillation of fermented grape marcs, directly by water vapor or after water has been added in the pot still. The grape marcs derive from the vinification of grapes suitable for producing the wine with the designation of origin Barolo DOCG, in accordance with its production specification (Presidential Decree of April 23, 1966). In particular, the grapes, which are vinified in accordance with specific regulations, come from vineyards growing the Nebbiolo grape variety, situated in the specified production area and grown according to the traditional cultivation methods of the area; these methods give the grapes and wine their specific characteristics. Grappa di Barolo GI can be aged in not varnished or dipped wooden containers. Flavouring is not allowed and neither the addition of fruits and/or aromatic plants - whole or in part - is permitted. Grappa di Barolo GI can only be made available for consumption if the minimum alcoholic strength by volume is 40%.
Link with the territory
The name Grappa di Barolo GI may be completed by reference to the distillation method used, continuous or discontinuous-cycle stills. The pot still can be specified as Bagnomaria Piemontese (Bain-marie of Piedmont Region). No symbols neither indication DOCG or DOP can be used.
Geographical Indication Grappa di Barolo is registered in the Annex III of Regulation (EC) n. 110/2008 on the definition, description, presentation, labelling and the protection of Geographical Indications of spirit drinks and repealing Council Regulation (EEC) No 1576/89 (published in the Official Journal of the EU of 13 February 2008; L. 39) as modified by the Reg. (EC) 1067/2016 and by Reg. 674/2019. Notwithstanding the entry in force of the new Reg. UE 787/2019 which is replacing Reg. 110/2008 and that applies to GIs from 8 june 2019, Annex III still stand until the creation of GI’s Register referred to in article 33 of the new law. Generally, article 24 paragraph 1 of Regulation 787/2019 provides that for every Geographical Indication has to be presented a technical file containing requirements requested by article 24 itself. In Italy the approval and presentation procedure of technical files is defined by Ministry of Agricultural, Food and Forestry Policies decree of May 13, 2010. The Grappa di Barolo GI technical file is contained in the MoA decree of May 27, 2016 (published in the Italian Official Journal n. 136 of June 13, 2016).