Project Description

Grappa Gualco

Grappa Gualco

The Gualco is a Piedmontese family dedicated to the production of grappa since 1870

The system for producing the Distilleria Gualco’s grappa is a “Piedmont bain-marie pot still”

This is an exceptional type of batch distillation plant and, since there are only a few such systems in Italy, it is visited by grappa enthusiasts from all over the world.

Using a “bain-marie” or “water bath”, as most chefs will know, means that the pot of the grape pomace is not heated directly by fire but it’s surrounded by another pot of boiling water that allows to heat the grapes gently, preventing the grappa from taking on an unpleasant smoky or burnt taste and permits a slow evaporation. Thus, retain the wine-like characteristics of the grape skins.

Their system is called “Piedmont pot still or Piedmont alembic” because this is a brevet of a local copper craftsman. This is the only bain-marie grappa distillation plant in which the grape skins that the master distiller puts in the pot don’t need to be wet using additional water or marc but they get distilled as they come with their natural moisture.

In Distilleria Gualco’s case “the alembic” holds around 200 kilos of grape skins and in just an hour produces from 10 to 15 litres of grappa of 55/65% vol.

The system, as a certificate that’s been hanging in the distillery for 100 years states, uses “Semigasogeni Autarchici” (Self-sufficient fuels) and the combustible used is the same grape-skins which have already been used to produce the grappa.

Young Grappa

To produce their young grappa, the Gualco Distillery selects the best grape pomaces from the hills of Montferrat and the Gavi area (Dolcetto, Barbera, Cortese, Muscat…) and distils them fresh using artisanal techniques and age-old wisdom.

Aged Grappa

A few months after the end of the distillation season, the owners of the company choose the batches of grappa with the best characteristics for ageing.

In the presence of an official from the Customs Office, these batches of grappa are put in wooden barrels and left in a storeroom to age.

These grappas are left in a cellar to mature over many years and are sealed by the State.

The distillery uses barriques, tonneaux and kegs of various sizes, and generally prefers to use those made out of oak for short-term ageing, and acacia wood for longer periods of ageing.

Flavoured Grappas

Grappa is a fantastic base for making infusions, which is why the Gualco Distillery uses a considerable amount of its grappa production as a raw material for extracting the aromatic elements of numerous plants and fruits, which are either grown in the distillery’s vegetable garden or purchased from renowned herbalist shops.

The extraction of these flavours from plants is carried out via cold maceration in glass demijohns or bottles. It is an age-old system, but it makes a difference in the final product.

Flavoured grappas and grappa-based liqueurs are created from these infusions; the former are dry, whereas the latter are a little fuller and sweeter, but without ever being too sugary.

We also have three very special Ligurian grappas……. The choice is yours……


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