Geographical Indication Grappa is exclusively reserved to the grape marc spirit produced from raw materials derived from grapes produced and vinified in Italy, which is distilled and bottled in plants located within the national territory.
The production area of Grappa GI is within the entire territory of Italy.
Grappa GI is produced through distillation, directly by water vapour or after water has been added in the pot still, of fermented or semi-fermented grape marc. Liquid natural lees of wine 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% of the total quantity of alcohol in the finished product. The liquid natural lees of wine 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 or alcohol vapours; by removing – separately – the alcohol from both the grape marc and lees, and starting the distillation process of the mixture obtained from the two phlegms immediately. These operations must take place in the same distillation plant. The distillation - in continuous or batch plants - of the fermented or semi-fermented grape marcs should be carried out at less than 86% by volume. Within this limit the obtained product may be re-distilled. The obtained distillate has a high alcoholic degree (is called “with full degree”) and it is not ready to be consumed yet. Therefore, the following operations must be carried out before released for consumption: - the reduction of the alcoholic degree through dilution with water for obtaining, in the production zone, the final alcoholic degree. This phase of elaboration is very important as it creates the balance among the different aromatic components. On this balance, other operations can be correctly implemented: - the refrigeration and/or filtration with the aim of extracting unwanted oils; - sugar (in the maximum amount of 20 grams per litre) and aromatic plants or fruits (or part of them) might be added as well; - caramel, only for the product subjected to ageing. In the presentation and promotion of the product, the terms Vecchia or Invecchiata, on the one hand, and Riserva or Stravecchia, on the other hand, may be used on the labelling only if the ageing process takes place in not varnished or dipped wooden containers, under official controls, respectively for, at least, 12 months and 18 months. The ageing can be also indicated in months. The type of containers used can be also indicated.
The word Grappa GI may be completed by reference to:- a vine variety name, when it has been produced from distillation obtained from raw materials coming entirely from the vinification of grapes belonging to that specific vine variety for 100 % of their weight (it is allowed the presence of other vine varieties up to 15%);- no more than two vine varieties names, when it has been produced from distillation obtained from raw materials entirely coming from the vinification of grapes belonging to those specific vine varieties (it shall not be indicated vine varieties used for less than 15%);- the name of a DOC, DOCG or IGT (PDO, PGI) wine, when the raw materials come from the grapes employed for the production of this wine (in this case, the use of the DOC, DOCG, IGT, PDO, PGI symbols or lettering, in either abbreviation form or in full, is not permitted);- the distillation’s method, continuous or discontinuous-cycle stills, and the type of pot still employed.
Grappa GI is produced through distillation, directly by water vapour or after water has been added in the pot still, of fermented (or semi-fermented) grape marc. Grappa GI can be subjected to the ageing process in not varnished or dipped wooden containers. To be released for consumption, the minimum alcoholic strength by volume shall be 37,5%.
Link with the territory
The production of grappa is an integral part of the Italian wine vocation, together with the consolidated activity of the distillation of by-products. The direct distillation process used for the grape marc - born and developed from Italian tradition - is a fundamental part of production, as it gives the grappa the unique characteristics that distinguish it from other distillates. Up until the 1970s, grappa was considered a “poor man’s spirit” with low quality, whereas today it is a “complex and sophisticated” product targeted at a wide variety of consumers. Grappa GI can be fresh or aged, produced by a mix of grape marc varieties or by just one variety. As claimed by producers, Grappa shall not be flavoured, although aromatic plants or fruits or part of them might be added. Grappa is a unique product as it is an expression of the Italian territory. In fact, its peculiarities make possible to find several Grappa’s varieties, all linked by the same “Italian Spirit”.
Geographical Indication Grappa 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 GI technical file is contained in the MoA decree n. 747 of January 28, 2016 (published in the Italian Official Journal n. 131 of February 8, 2016) came into force on August 1, 2016.