Discover with us  the magic of Italian wine heritage

krater-wineOenotria, “land of vines”, this was how the ancient Greeks called  Italy. Its variety of landscapes and climates, from the Alps to the shores of Sicily through  chains of hills, mountains and volcanoes, offers an astonishing range of grape varieties that have been cultivated for thousands of years  in their terroirs.

mappa-x1 vectorized

Under the Romans,  vines were planted throughout the Empire, grapegrowing and winemaking techniques became more advanced, the varietals that best matched soil and climate were selected to improve  quality.

The concept of vintage already existed, as the ancient books report that the fabled Opimiam wine of 121 B.C., an excellent vintage of Falernum, was aged and drunk decades later. 

This red thread that leads to modern times was never cut, though invasions, wars and fights split the country into city states, duchies, kingdoms along two thousand years of entangled events . 

Enjoy a glass of History!

PostHeaderIcon Sisters are doin' it for themselves!!!


Do you remember the famous feminist song by Annie Lennox? 

It went on proclaiming “we got lawyers, doctors, politicians too”, and I could add, now, wonderful producers of Grappa, too! ( Imagine what could happen in some countries where alcohol is prohibited and women are persecuted..)

nonino sistersThe Nonino sisters and one of the judges invited to the visit

For those who don’t know what Grappa is, let’s call it the “cognac” of the poorest workers and farmers, until 1960. Whilst Cognac is made from wine (an undrinkable one but good enough to be distilled), Grappa is made from the pomace, that is the discarded skins and seeds of the wine.

That was all the lower classes could afford to warm up in the long, cold winters of the northeastern regions of Italy, where this spirit has been made since the Middle Ages : Veneto, Trentino and Friuli. It was a rough thing, not so different from any grain alcohol made in other countries of the world which have chilly winters.

Among those who decided to start to produce a quality Grappa in ‘70s, Giannola Nonino is THE pioneer, along with her husband Benito. They were the first to make grappa from a single varietal, Picolit, an indigenous, fine, flavourful grape that grows only in Friuli. At first they used to sneer at her ambition to make better such a coarse liquor, but she didn’t dishearten and went on offering her grappa to gourmets, restaurateurs, and journalists. 

The Nonino’s started to make other monovarietal grappas, choosing the best producers for their pomace, setting up a wider distillery, until success at last smiled at them and now even more at their three talented daughters, all friendly and beautiful , Cristina, Elisabetta and Antonella.


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