When you visit the Nonino distillery during grape harvest, you can smell the aroma of grape pomace as it arrives from the family’s partner-wineries.
“It’s all about the freshness of the pomace,” said Elisabetta Nonino (in the photo above) when we visited last October. “That’s the key to freshness in the grappa and aromatics that are true to the grape variety.”
Historically, the Nonino family has been the author of two major innovations in the production of fine grappa.
The first was that the family convinced grape growers and winemakers to keep the grape varieties separate. This allowed the distillery to make the first monovarietal grappa. In doing so, they were able to deliver a distilled expression of the grape that was true to the aromatic and flavor profile of the variety.
The second was the fact that, instead of waiting for the growers and winemakers to deliver the pomace, the Nonino family members went themselves to pick up the pomace as soon as the grapes had been pressed for vinification. At the time, the notion of treating pomace with such care was unthinkable. Today, thanks to the Nonino family, it is common operating procedure for all of Italy’s top distillers.