Swiss grappas can look back on a history almost as long as that of Italian pomace brandies, distilled from the alcoholic pomaces left over from wine production. However, only pomace distillates produced in the Italian-speaking region of Switzerland or in Italy may be called “grappa”. That’s why comparable pomace brandies have become known in France as “marc”, and other fine distilleries, such as Macardo, call their pomace spirits “Aquavite di vinaccia”.
It’s important to understand that the name “grappa” is merely indicative of the region in which a pomace has been produced, and not of its quality. The quality of grappas differs greatly, because the distillation of pomaces is an art – regardless of the country of distillation and regardless of whether the end product carries the name “grappa”, “Aquavite di vinaccia”, or “pomace brandy”. The reason: Pomaces are not a liquid, but rather a liquid-solid, which is why they are heated in special distilleries in which the still is surrounded by a water bath, i.e. they are not directly heated. In the world’s best pomace distilleries, which use traditional methods, the water bath is heated over a wood fire – just like Macardo does when producing its Swiss version of grappa, “Aquavite di vinaccia”.
Depending on the type of grape from which the pomace is made, pomace brandies have a vast array of scents, aromas, and flavors, which can be greatly influenced through the targeted aging of the young pomace brandy in wooden casks. And, of course, top-quality pomace brandies like “Aquavite di vinaccia” from Swiss fine distillery Macardo have no added sugar, colorings, or flavorings.