“The noble cousin of limoncello” is a phrase that can best define this traditional citron-based liqueur with a sweet citrus taste and dry finish.
Ingredients : Grain alcohol, natural aroma of cedro (citron).
Grappa Nardini: the origins of the Grappa
This is a story that began long ago, in 1779 to be exact,in Bassano del Grappa, the heart of the Veneto Region of Italy, at the gateway to the covered bridge known as Ponte Vecchio, designed by Andrea Palladio.
At that time, the city was a strategic commercial center at the crossroads from the Valsugana Valley towards Venice, a thoroughfare for commerce connecting la Serenissima Republic of Venice with the Trentino Region and Austria.
Further north, in the Cembra Valley, the art of distillation was widespread. This was the birthplace of Bortolo Nardini, forefather of what is now the oldest and most long-lived family of Italian distillers.
Bortolo left his town with tenacity and vision, purchasing in 1779 “Osteria al Ponte”, tavern on the bridge, which was to become the home of the Nardini Distillery in Bassano.
This was a medieval structure on the eastern bank of the Brenta river with an unrivalled location for commerce. Here Bortolo Nardini distilled his grappa, and the story of the Nardini Distillery began.
The foothills of the Veneto plain that surround Bassano assure the distillery a constant supply of grape pomace, the raw material for grappa production, collected in September and October after the grape harvest and pressing for wine took place.
From the end of the 1700s to the early 1800s distillation occurred by utilizing the traditional stills and the distillate was stored in copper vats. Bortolo Nardini labeled his grappa “Aquavite di vinaccia”, spelling acquavite in the Latin style, without the letter “c”, as in fashion at that time, and using the play on the word acquavite meaning both distillate and water of life.
With the succeeding generations the distillery’s activity expanded, creating notoriety far beyond local borders.
Before long the Nardini Distillery had built a reputation as one of the finest commercial and entrepreneurial activities of their time, dedicated to preserving their know-how and passing it on from generation to generation.
The goals that Nardini has achieved over time, such as innovative distillation techniques, are fruit of its heritage based on values intrinsic to the history of the Nardini family.
Values inspired by a strong work ethic, the constant search for excellence and social responsibility, tenets that are cherished to this day by the company.
The long Nardini tradition is preserved through their products and has become a symbol of their homeland. Marked by a constant quest for perfection and artisanal culture, their legacy of over two centuries is conserved within each of the millions of bottles of grappa exported around the world.
Since the beginning, the Grapperia on the bridge was a bar and point of sale; commercial barges and rafts transporting wood and cargo crowded the banks of the river Brenta allowing “Aquavite Nardini” to be known in every corner of the Venetian Republic.
In the second half of the 1800s, the steam method of distillation was introduced, replacing
the direct flame method. The use of steam guaranteed a constant temperature during distillation, resulting in a better quality and uniformity of the final product.
At this time, the Nardini Distillery increased its assortment of products to include the production of many liqueurs such as Tagliatella, Acqua di Cedro, Mistrà and Fernet.
In the beginning of the 20th Century, Ditta Bortolo Nardini was the most famous grappa distillery in Italy.
With the outbreak of World War I and the movement of the front to the territory enclosed between Mount Grappa and the Piave River, Nardini witnessed the dramatic scenes of the global conflict.
During the war, grappa was a form of comfort; soldiers brought it to the front lines to warm them on long nights in the trenches and it helped them keep the faith when all seemed lost. In the post-war period, grappa steadily gained great popularity and became the Italian national distillate.
At the end of the Second World War, the devastated bridge was rebuilt and the Nardini family enthusiastically reorganized their business: for the first time “Riserva” grappa was introduced, aged in Slavonian oak barrels, it was a welcome addition to the traditional Nardini clear grappa.
Nardini adopted the tradition of amber distillates and perfected the secrets of barrel aging to hone the production method of this prized grappa.
Ditta Bortolo Nardini continued to develop on two fronts: investing on constantly improving and innovating their distillation methods and passing on the jealously guarded secrets of the family business.
Grappa Nardini … a delicacy!