Be amazed by the 200 years of history of a family whose name has become synonymous – over centuries and generations – with a product that’s an icon of an entire nation.
BORTOLO NARDINI IS BORN
The son of Bortolo Nardini and Maria Maddalena Giacomuzzi, Bortolo Nardini was born on May 25, 1739 in Segonzano, in the Cembra Valley, near Trent. In a country where wine is a tradition, it was a widespread practice to distill wine pomace as a source of income and livelihood. At that time, distillers moved from house to house with a mobile still, working as third-party distillers of the pomace deriving from the production of wine. Bortolo Nardini took up this craft, and traveled all the way to Bassano del Grappa, at the end of the valley.
ITALY’S FIRST GRAPPA
Arriving in Bassano del Grappa, Bortolo Nardini was involved in an accident that forced him to stop in the city. During his convalescence, he had the opportunity to learn more about Bassano and to understand its strategic importance as a commercial crossroads between the Valsugana Valley and Venice. With farsightedness and the tenacious will to turn his vision into reality, he bought the Osteria al Ponte, today called the Grapperia Nardini, to produce grappa with a permanent still and sell it to the public. For the first time it was no longer the distiller with a mobile still going to the farmers, but the winegrowers themselves bringing in the pomace for the production of grappa. Bortolo called his grappa “Aquavite di Vinaccia” (eau-de-vie from grape pomace) spelled in the Latin way without the "c", playing on the etymology that could mean both "water of life" and "water from the vine". The first grappa of Italy was born, Nardini Grappa.
In the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries the distillation of Nardini Grappa took place in traditional stills with a direct flame, and the distillate was preserved in large copper jars still exhibited in the Grapperia at the Bridge. But in 1860 the family introduced a great novelty in the process of distilling the grappa: the steam still. The adoption of steam significantly improved the quality of the grappa compared to stills with a direct flame, preserving the quality of the pomace without burning it. Today it is one of the most common methods used to produce grappa.
THE GRAPPA RISERVA
The new generation of the Nardini family, Bortolo, Horace and Mario, introduced an important innovation: Grappa Riserva, "Aged in oak casks in the manner of cognac". Nardini Grappa Riserva was born.
After World War I, the Nardini family introduced another novelty in the distillation process, the technique of double rectification. This operation ensures superior purity to the product because it allows a more precise selection of alcohols, thus improving the quality of the final result.
VACUUM STEAM DISTILLATION
In 1963, the Nardini family introduced vacuum steam distillation, an innovation resulting from their continuous work to improve the quality of their company’s products. This new technique renders alcohols volatile while subjecting the pomace to lower temperatures, thus maintaining the sensory characteristics of the raw materials. The process confers that unmistakable floral bouquet to Nardini Grappa.
GRAPPA IN MIXED DRINKS
Since the early 2000s, Nardini has applied its pioneering spirit to work with the best international bartenders in promoting the culture of grappa in mixes. A new way of enjoying the national distillate was celebrated in 2006 with the first publication of a book containing over 40 recipes of grappa cocktails: The Grappa Handbook, written by Marcin Miller.
OUR FIRST SINGLE CASK GRAPPA
To celebrate the 240th anniversary of the distillery, the Nardini family introduced the Bortolo Nardini Grappa Riserva Single Cask 22 Anni Selezione Bortolo Nardini, an important innovation in the world of grappa. For the first time the final product is placed into a single cask and allowed to mature for 22 years before being bottled, instead of being a cuvée of variously aged lots assembled after periods in casks.
NARDINI, AN AMAZING STORY FOR 241 YEARS
Since 1779, Nardini has always been a family-run company, a member of the exclusive Les Henokiens club of bicentenary family companies. A life dedicated to exalting the territory, the birthplace of a product treasured even today, more than two centuries later. Today, the 7th generation continues the family tradition and spreads the culture of an Italian icon in the world: Nardini Grappa.