The origin of Premiata Distilleria G. Bertagnolli dates back to 1870 when the rich landowner of one of the largest wineries in the Piana Rotaliana Giulia de Kreutzenberg married Edoardo Bertagnolli, forebear of the family and heir to an established pharmaceutical business.
Giulia's passion combined with Edoardo's experience in the use of stills for distilling using the "water bath" method resulted in the production of distillates of excellent quality. Very soon thereafter, in 1886 the Distilleria Bertagnolli earned the award of Official Supplier to the Augsburg Imperial Family as it's proved by a medal, miraculously escaped a wildfire wherein a noteworthy collection of medals and most of the historical documents have been lost.
The Distillery is located in the Piana Rotaliana, a landscape described by Dante as the "most beautiful vineyard in Europe", where there is the ideal climate to grow precious and aromatic grapes. From this grapes, Bertagnolli obtains Grappa rich in flavour and taste.
The mission at the Distilleria Bertagnolli is clear and trasparent: tradition ground of innovation.
A centenary family, an historical product, a company strictly related with his land. This is the secret of Bertagnolli's fame, that allows Grappa Bertagnolli to reach the international markets as an high quality product of the made in Italy.
Livia e Beppe Bertagnolli custodian of tradition and promoters of innovation
The efforts and commitment of the Bertagnolli family are focused on the achievement and the maintenance of an excellent quality for all their distillates.
Today the company is managed by the cousins Livia and Beppe Bertagnolli. Their entrepreneurial dynamism has brought constant growth, thanks to their continuous introduction of advanced research, development, implementation and controls.
Tradition, innovation, quality and prestige are the strengths of the Bertagnolli's business, an art carried on through time, faithful to it's noble origins.
...to hand down the passion for the family profession is not so easy. I remember how my Father, with enthusiasm and finesse at the same time, has approached me to our traditions, sharing with me the magic atmosphere wafting in distillery. To carry on an ultracentenarian firm has a great charm; to be the IV generation is a commitment besides a pride. To be successful in that.....a challenge.
...the quality of grappa results directly from the quality of the raw material: the grape pomace. We only can spoil what nature gives us!...
Grappa is a fragrant grape-based pomace-brandy of between 50% and 80% alcohol by volume, of Italian origin by tradition, culture and law.
Since 1989, thanks to the European Law 1567/89, "Grappa" can be named just the grape-pomace distillates produced in Italy from Italian raw material.
Literally "grape stalk", most grappa is made by distilling pomace, grape residue (mainly the skins, but also stems and seeds) left over from winemaking after pressing. It was originally made to prevent waste by using leftovers at the end of the wine season. It quickly became commercialised, mass-produced, and sold worldwide.
The flavour of grappa, like that of wine, depends on the type and quality of the grape used as well as the specifics of the distillation process.
In Italy, grappa is primarily served as a "digestivo" or after-dinner drink. Its main purpose was to aid in the digestion of heavy meals. Grappa may also be added to espresso coffee to create a caffè corretto meaning corrected coffee. Another variation of this is the "ammazza caffè" (literally, "coffee-killer"): the espresso is drunk first, followed by a few ounces of grappa served in its own glass.
There are three different types of firms working with spirits: distillery who produce and bottle spirit (about 135), distillery who produce and sell directly without bottle, distillery who buys the spirit to transform it for bottle (about 500).
Distilleria Bertagnolli is belonging to the first type, receiving grape-pomace, distilling them and selling the grappa still transformed and bottled.
Distilleria Bertagnolli facilities are alembic with steam-fired "waterbath" discontinuous system, created by Bertagnolli Family entrepreneurial prowess.
In the discontinuous method, 1,600 pounds of pomace are mixed with 1,600 distilled water pounds and brought to boil through the steam-fired "waterbath" discontinuous system for quite two hours.
During this slow distillation, the pomace is continuously mixed to obtain all the possible aromas from the marc.
The extracted alcohol vapors is collected in the alembics, selected through the Zadra column and than refrigerated getting Grappa, not aggressive but soft, rich in flavour and aromas.
All the temperature inside the alembic, the selection column and the refrigeration column are controlled by a computer, to guarantee a perfect and homogenous grappa.
The state of the art stills enable the distillation of customised grappas with the "water bath" system. The continued care and passion for the art of "water bath" distillation necessitated the introduction of meaningful changes in the traditional stills in order to achieve the best quality product. Distilleria Bertagnolli studied and implemented an efficient water flow monitoring system for cooling the columns that cut down the possibility for human error in this important phase of the distillation process. The new equipment enabled the distillation of 500 to 600 kilograms of grape pomace in each cauldron for each "boil".
With this new capacity, the Bertagnollis were able to produce very limited and precious productions (such as Moscato Rosa, Traminer and Sorbo dell'Uccellatore). Just like a tailor's shop, distilleria Bertagnolli produces customised grappas made to special order.
Because of this innovation, for over thirty years many wineries throughout Italy have relied on the company to distil their own grape pomace, assured of the high quality of the Bertagnolli distillation process.
Copper is the ideal metal used to build the Betagnolli stills.
Thanks to its renowned heat conduction properties, copper helps to achieve excellent results in the delicate phase of distillation.