This one is an anecdote rather than a full distillery visit report. It has been a few years back, but memories of visiting the Nonino Grappa distillery close to Udine in the north of Italy certainly remain. Nonino is one of the world’s most renowned Grappa and Liquor producers. Their bottles grace deli-shops around the world, being it for their particular design, the breadth of different spirits on offer, or simple the amazing quality of the drams they produce.
Nonino is a family-owned company with tradition and that’s what one can immediately feel when entering their premises. We didn’t quite know what to expect when (after an initial-phone call from our end) invited to come over for a short visit (we were on holidays in the area). The distillery wasn’t really set up for guided tours and – as it turns out – we were only allowed to their ‘tasting room’. … and what an experience that was!
Upon arrival we were greeted by a distillery representative who took about 45 seconds to take us through their process to then let us know it was a busy day and we should just taste the result ourselves. Then she each gave us a spirit glass and said: “enjoy”! At this point I should probably mention that the distillery’s reception are doubles up as their tasting room and there would have been around 150 bottles of the entire Nonino range (with some very exclusive drams). Needless to say, we got over our shock quickly and – after figuring out who the designated driver would be – got started.
Nonino has a truly amazing range of different spirits from sweet digestives/amaros to highly-fruit driven distillates and some very rare examples. My joint favourites were a barrel-aged grappa (5 years) which was bottled for their 25th anniversary, as well as a Picolit spirit (an extremely rare northern-Italian grape variety. Working ourselves through the Nonino portfolio was a truly unique experience!
We happily come back anytime!