I can't believe the number of people that have come into the tasting room asking for grappa. Grappa is very special to me, as it was one of the first spirits I ever enjoyed. My Aunt Jo and I were travelling in Italy and one of my fondest memories of the trip was sitting at a cafe on St. Mark's square in Venice sipping on some delicious grappa. Still, I can't believe how many people are asking about grappa.
Grappa, or pomace-brandy, is made by fermenting grape skins, seeds, etc. It is traditionally made with the leftovers from the winemaking process. The result is a very aromatic spirit that can also be a little rough around the edges. Until recently, it has been difficult to find high quality grappa in the U.S., so many people have been turned off by the "lighter fluid" options on the shelves. When grappa is done right, however, it can be complex and delectable. It makes an excellent digestivo after a big meal and also can be a great addition to morning coffee.
We began grappa production this past week with some local Muscat grapes. Not a lot of Muscat is grown in the Finger Lakes, but we made a point to find some as its floral and citrus aromas translate well into distillates. We also plan on making grappa from some other varietals.
Below are some pictures of us processing the grapes and of the skins fermenting. We hope to have our first grappa bottled for the holidays.