During the Bar Convent in Berlin, we had the opportunity to attend a lecture given by Antonella Nonino about the Grappa of the Nonino family. Antonella is the fifth generation of Grappa producers in the Nonino family. Three sisters inherited the family business and proudly represent their family heritage to the world. Did you know that they offer Grappa that is 120 years old? Antonella revealed to us about her beginnings in the industry, how long she has been involved in the business and some of her favorite types of Grappa.
The Grappa Nonino is the Grappa of the Nonino family. Papa and Mama are the ones that have the heritage of the family. So we, Christina, Elizabeth and I, are the 5th generation. When my parents got married and Mama entered the family, she wanted to make the Grappa world appreciate, not only in Friuli and in the rural areas. And they started to do experiments to improve and to make their grappa better. And in 1973 they revolutionized the way of producing and introducing grappa, not all in the family Nonino, but in the entire field. And they created the Monovitigni Nonino, the Grappa that we obtained from distilling a single variety of pomace.
We were since always in the distillery. First we went to be with our Mama, because Mama was very busy and the distillery was very close to the houses, so when we were children we were in the distillery to be with her. While we were growing, we started to help, for example, to take the telephone call of the wine producer in order to be sure to make the pomace really fresh the same day, the price to make the wine. When we were young we were very worried about when we grew up we would have to run the distillery and we didn’t know how to distill. So, as soon as we were 16 or 17 years old, we started to learn how to distill.
I would say that the most fascinating part is following the aging of grappa in barrique. We have 7 cellars with 2.510 barrique and we see month after month and year after year how the color becomes more and more beautiful. Tents and together with the color, the nice and beautiful intense perfume and unnatural aroma that they were that they would give to the Grappa Riserva.
In my life, I think the fact of being in the family. We always talk about grappa in the evening, during weekend, we are always busy with Grappa. La Mama didn’t speak English so we helped her to translate. And another thing, when La Mama and Papa’s revolution the way of making grappa and they created the Monovitigni, they immediately invited people to visit us and to understand what is behind Grappa Nonino Monovitigni. And we were always there. We love to be with other people to explain our work. That is a work that needs a lot of knowledge, this art of distillation that we pass generation by generation, but also a lot of work.
We have so many of them. We have the grappa, we have the Grappa riserva, Vendemmia reserva, the Antica Cuvee Riserva, the Riserva 8 years, the Riserva that celebrated 120 years this year, then we have Picolit Cru, da Proseco, Fragolino Cru, Il Merlot, Il Moscato and many other. And we have the fruit distillate, the Amaro Nonino and L’Aperitivo Nonino, which is a celebration of the story of Sylvia, my grandmother, that is dedicated to the art of liquor and this L’Aperitivo Nonino is rich in botanic and it is 100% vegetal. So is vegan.
Of course, it is our dream that is coming true because Grappa Nonino has a character, has a personality. But as you have tasted with barmans like Simone Caporale, Monica Berg, Salvatore Calabrese, and we could mention beautiful Alex Cratena, we can have really beautiful cocktails that people enjoy, always responsibly, and so the future of cocktails is grappa and grappa’s future is in cocktails.
First of all, we are happy and we celebrate. We see recognition when you offer quality.
It is from a recipe by grandmother Sylvia and also on the label you can see three women. So that means the three sisters and the three generations. Our grandmother, mother and us. And it is 100% vegetal and so the quality is recognized and we always, when we see it, people appreciate our Grappa and our quality in Amaro, in aperitivo, this gives us energy.
I love the grappa Chardonnay Bianco and the Grappa Vendemmia. And I love the Nonino sour. It can be made with different types of our products. And then it’s nice to see how those different Nonino Spirits can make your sour different and beautiful all the time.