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Paolo Marolo, Maestro Grappaiolo

Paolo Marolo is an inspired orchestrator of grappa distillation, arranging harmonies of aroma and flavor through a sensitive balance of technique and passion. Using his nose, his hands and his palate, he creates elegant variations on the theme of grappa, ensuring that each bottling--from each year's harvests of grapes from various renowned wine regions of Italy--is original and unique. The grappas of Paolo Marolo are essentially the fruit of a great passion for his work as a "Maestro Grappaiolo."

In 1977, Marolo's first grappas were born from the desire to transform a traditional, often rustic product into an excellent example of the distiller's art. Since that time he has consistently worked with the pomaces of noble grape varieties to make spirits that exalt the special qualities of each variety. Marolo's distillery is not automated, so he attentively surveys every phase of the distillation process, his meticulous craftsmanship adapting knowingly to the various characteristics of the pomaces that are used. The results bear witness to Paolo Marolo's comprehension of the workings of nature and his ability, through the skillful creation of these fine spirits, to allow the personalities of the grapes to find their fullest expression.

Marolo's Santa Teresa distillery works closely with wineries in various regions to ensure that only the freshest pomace is used. Two small discontinuous "bain marie" stills are employed, one for white wine pomace and the other for the red wine pomace. This method of production means that Santa Teresa cannot distill large quantities of spirits, but it allows Marolo optimally to capture the diverse and well-defined characteristics of the excellent raw materials he uses.

Today the Santa Teresa distillery is testimony to Paolo Marolo's ability to create an artful fusion of artisanal, traditional techniques with modern equipment. Marolo's vision also includes giving his beautifully fashioned grappas the benefit of a marketing approach that reflects a future of grappa-production that will be both efficient and dynamic.

Marrying tradition and modernity, Marolo's constant search for new images to reflect the character of his grappas led him to the choice of maestro Gianni Gallo as designer of the labels. The exquisite images which artfully complement the traditional classic shape of the bottles retained by Marolo, have done their part toward contributing to the illustrious history of the distillery.

What is grappa?

"Grappa" is the name given by Italian law to the distilled spirit obtained through the distillation of the pomace or "marc" (French) of pressed grapes (skins, seeds, small quantity of pulp, must and wine). Good quality pomace comes from softly pressed grapes.

Mono-variety soft-pressed grapes are the basic raw material used by the good "grappaioli", or grappa producers.
MAROLO only distills the pomace of quality grapes grown in vineyards recognized for their prestigious locations.

The pomace, at the moment of distillation, should be between 4-5% alcohol (8-10 Proof) for red grapes, and 2-4% (4-8 Proof) for white grapes. This alcohol is generated by the fermentation of the pomace in contact with the must.  Depending on the type of fermentation, the alcoholic content of the pomace will vary.

Distillation methods
There are two distillation methods: the first, a continuous distillation , finds its application in the industrial production of grappa. Artisan distillers use the second, a  discontinuous distillation. The most common system for discontinuous distillation of grappa is the "bain-marie" or "double-boiler" distillation. By using a double-boiler there is a more gentle transfer of heat to the pomace, thus ensuring purer and fresher varietal characteristics in the resulting grappa.