The name “grappa” originally comes from the Italian word “grappolo”, meaning grape. Grappa is distilled from grape skins, or pomace. The pomace is a byproduct of wine-making. Grappa is therefore a type of pomace brandy. The term “grappa” may only be used for Italian pomace brandies.
In Italy, the use of the so-called direct distillation process is compulsory. This method of distillation is very complex. However, it guarantees top quality grappa. The first stage of grappa production varies according to the type of grapes used. This depends on the time at which the pomace, the grape skins, are separated from the must, or grape juice. When making white wine, the pomace is separated from the must immediately. This means that the pomace first has to be fermented by adding specially selected yeasts. When making red wine, the grape skins are fermented together with the must. The pomace is already fermented and the distillation process can begin directly. The pomace is then heated. The vapors rise, are conducted away, then cooled and collected in a suitable receptacle. This distillation process is repeated at various temperatures. Every single substance has a specific temperature at which it evaporates, i.e. is distilled. This is how the undesirable substances are separated from the pure alcohol vapors and aromatic substances.
Tasca makes its special grappa from Chardonnay and Nero d’Avola grape varieties.