ROMANO LEVI OF ITALY: GRAPPA OF THE ANGELS
THE SPIRIT: GRAPPA DI ROMANO LEVI
"Grappa Levi" is created from the vinaccia of great Piemontese DOC and DOCG wines. Once the grapes have been pressed for their juices, the skins, seeds and pulp (- the vinaccia) are transported down from the hillsides to the Distilleria di Romano Levi, where they are collected and fermented. The vinaccia is then distilled in the historic direct-fire copper alembic still––the only grappa still produced using this ancient heating method. The fully-extracted vinaccia is then pressed and sun-dried. The following year, these bricks are used to fire the still, thus completing the energy-neutral system. Meanwhile the grappa is rolled out of the distillery in-barrel, to be aged for up to 12 years before bottling.
These grappas are full of character, robust yet aromatic, the Grappa di Romano Levi is best enjoyed neat, from a wine glass, and usually after midday. ;)
MEET THE MAKER: ROMANO LEVI
Inheriting his father's Piemontese distillery at sixteen-years-of-age, Romano Levi took the only option available to him and began full-time work as a self-taught distiller. Taking over the distillery named for his father Serafino, the young Romano continued a long family tradition of Levi grapat––distillers who once were spotted across northern Italy.
The young Romano was fascinated by the "wild women" who tended the vines around his village of Neive. These "donna selvatica" would become central characters in a lifelong art series whereby every bottle left the distillery with a unique hand-drawn label inspired by Romano's imagination.
"As a child I used to walk to school, crossing the hills and vineyards. Among the vineyard rows you would often find the ciabot, which were tiny equipped shelters where the wine-makers and farmers took refuge in case a storm surprised them in the evening or in the morning if they had to be in the vineyard before sunrise. I used to pass by there in the morning and I would sometimes see beautiful scruffy-looking women come out of these shelters; women who appeared to be a bit crazy, lonely and often living on the margins of society. They were mysterious, without constraints. They disappeared and then came back, they were both partly witches and partly fairies. They were free, as all women should be, to live the best part of their life." - Romano Levi
The labels are now prized for their individuality and the stories that they tell and are highly sought after by collectors. In the wake of Romano Levi's passing the commune of Neive collectively agreed that the grappa must remain the same as it always has been.
We at SPIRIT PEOPLE are delighted to be able to share the wonderful Grappa di Romano Levi with you.