Grappa Classification

Grappa Classification

Up until a few decades ago, people spoke about grappa in general terms. In recent years, however, there has been a greater focus on specific varieties of grappa – a trend due in particular to the development of the single-variety grappa market.

Grappas first and foremost need to be classified based on their organoleptic characteristics:

Young Grappas

These are characterized solely based on aromas which, through distillation, are expressed by the grape variety and fermentation. They’re aged in non-wood containers.

Aged Grappas

Their stand-out features are their yellowish colouring, and their spiced accents acquired by minimum aging of at least twelve months in barrels made of oak, ash or other wood species.

Aromatic Grappas

These are made from grape varieties characterized by distinctive aromas which are imparted directly to the distillate (Muscat grappa, Malvasia etc.).

Flavoured Grappas

As a result of steeping with medicinal plants they acquire a certain aroma (rue schnapps, gentian, etc.).

These are single-grape variety grappas and have grown in popularity in recent years. They’re classified on the basis of the type of single variety pomace used to make them, meaning not blended with other varieties. The law states that the grape variety can be shown on the label if at least 85% of the ingredients used to make a particular grappa come from the type of grape variety specified on the label. Two grape varieties may also be used provided they are listed in decreasing order of the quantity of ingredient used and the one representing the smallest quantity accounts for at least 15% of the quantity.