Collection Area

Considering that pomace is highly perishable and that its availability is limited and concentrated in the brief period of the grape harvest, one can see how the primary issue concerning production is how to manage the stages of collection of the raw materials. The experience gained at Bonollo, combined with technological research, has led to the development of a fast, flexible system for the collection, analysis and conservation of the pomace. The system is based on the principle that prompt delivery of the pomace to the distillery and its perfect conservation are fundamental conditions for obtaining a grappa that meets the requisite fullness of aromas and lightness of taste, as laid out in the company’s production philosophy. To ensure that raw materials arrive in a fresh condition, transport to the Bonollo distillery is carried out by both corporate and third party vehicles. This is a costly, yet essential option, as just minimising the amount of time from the collection of the pomace in the wine cellar to its arrival at the distillery, prevents the risk of harmful alterations to the pomace. Thanks to its location in the heart of Veneto region, one of Italy’s foremost wine-producing areas, Bonollo has at its disposal an unrivalled richness and variety of raw materials. Its central location means that the pomace can be transported to the distillery in the freshest condition, within just a few hours from when it was separated from the must or the wine. The main pomace collection area runs horizontally from Venice to Verona, and vertically – travelling North to South – ideally links Conegliano and Este, South of the Euganean Hills. In fact, the company’s location and the extent of the collection area means it easily encompasses almost all areas defined by the Veneto DOC and DOCG (Protected Designations of Origin) specifications: Valdadige, Valpolicella, Bardolino, Soave, Gambellara, Conegliano, Piave, Pramaggiore, Bagnoli and Euganean Hills. These include numerous types of vine and wine varieties – from Cabernet, Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio and Prosecco to rarities like Amarone, Moscato Fior d’Arancio and the Friulano – whose fruits cover a remarkably broad colour scale and range of aromas, thus providing raw materials to produce grappas and grape spirits that are distinguished by their unique fragrance and elegance. To maintain its freshness, the pomace that has just arrived in the distillery undergoes a treatment, before storage, to facilitate the control of its fermentation environment. Partially reconstructing the typical environmental conditions of must prevents the development of bacteria that could interfere with the completion of the alcoholic fermentation process and irreparably compromise the specific aromatic heritage of the pomace – and, consequently, also the quality of the grappa obtained. This is an innovative method, first experimented in the mid-1990s, when, in collaboration with the University of Udine’s Food Sciences Department, the first practical tests were carried out at the Conselve distillery. Following the subsequent completion of these experiments, special machines were developed, which were able to mechanically manage the optimal treatment of the raw materials and enable storage in an anaerobic environment.

Vinaccia Rossa