Friday, December 14, 2018

Faled Distilleries and Spirito Verdiano

Next stop on the Grappa tour was in Parma at Faled Distilleries. Faled has been distilling spirits from local grapes Malvasia, Lambrusco, Fortana, Barbera, and Bonarda since 1945. Success in the region led the company to invest both in improving the plant, purchasing wooden barrels, and buying a 15th century castle to age their Grappa. 

They spent several decades expanding their market and their portfolio of products. In addition to Grappa, Faled makes brandy and liquor infusions including Nocino a nut flavored liqueur, Bargnolino which is berry flavored and Limoncino, a lemon flavored spirit. In the new millennium, they started a new brand of premium Grappa called Spirito Verdiano. The Spirito Verdiano line was created to showcase the grapes that have been a part of the region's wine making since ancient times. 

Giuseppe Scaltriti, Director of Communications, led us on the tour of the distillery followed by a tour of the Castle Roccabianca. The castle was originally started in 1450 and was finished in 1463 by Pier Maria Rossi. The fortress like building was originally built for his lover Bianca Pelligrini. The name of both the castle and the town comes from this union. In the 20th century, it became the aging house for Faled Distillery’s Reserve Grappa and also a place for the local ham, Culatello, to be hung to dry. Today, visitors to the area can tour the castle and see the restored artwork while learning the long history that the building houses.

Scaltriti led us to one of the rooms where a tasting had been set up for us. Next to four different types of Grappa by Spirito Verdiano was a local wine made from the same grape. I really enjoyed this tasting, it was very educational to taste both side by side and see how the essence of the wine grapes had been captured in each of the Grappas.

The Tasting:

Spirito Verdiano Grappa di Malvasia - The pomace for this Grappa comes from a local sparkling wine, it was the most aromatic with nectarine, citrus blossoms, and a light nutty note with a subtle, lightly fruity taste. It was my favorite of these three.

Spirito Verdiano Grappa di Lambrusco - Light notes of sweet berry aromas and a clean, dry finish.

Spirito Verdiano Grappa di Fortana - Similar to the previous one with fruitier notes of sweet cherry/berry and a clean, dry finish. 

After the tasting,  Scaltriti treated us to a lunch at a nearby restaurant where we enjoyed some of the local ham and pasta dishes. After our meal, we sampled a couple of other products, the Spirito Verdiano Grappa di Gutturnio, the Spirito Verdiano Grappa delle Nebbie and the Nocino, a traditional liqueur from the area made from green walnuts. No notes taken on these three. All of these Grappas are recommended.

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