It all began in Friuli, northern Italy, in the 1920’s where a wine merchant by the name of Vittorio Dalla Cia, acquired a small pot still and started the first Dalla Cia Distillery which grew into one of the biggest producers of Grappa in Italy thanks to product innovation and foresight. Vittorio’s son Giorgio moved to South Africa with his family in 1974 and devoted his experience as a distiller and knowledge as a qualified oenologist to the Meerlust Estate for 25 years pioneering the creation of Bordeaux style blends in South Africa, and starting up the first Grappa distillery on a South African Wine Estate.
The establishment of a third generation Grappa distillery was the fulfilment of a lifelong dream for Giorgio Dalla Cia. The production of Grappa was such an inherent part of Giorgio’s childhood that he was determined to continue the legacy on local soil. This only became possible after 1994 when the production of Grappa in South Africa was legalised. Two years later Giorgio with his son George, imported a state-of-the art copper alembic still from Italy, establishing their boutique Grappa distillery in Stellenbosch.
Grappa is a husk spirit which derives it’s name from Graspa, an Italian term used to describe the fermented grape skins (husks or pomace) left over after the wine making process. Through an artisanal bain-marie double-distillation, within 48 hours after the grapes have been pressed, only 30 litres of Grappa are delicately extracted from a half ton of husks with very concentrated aromas that define the spirit’s distinct flavour and capture the essence of the cultivar. No traditional Italian meal is complete without a Grappa. Sipped slowly, slightly chilled or at room temperature, or added into an espresso as a caffe’ corretto, Grappa is the ultimate digestive!