The Italian Almanac


Italian News - December 24

Italy's famous Grappa drink has been recognised with a European Union seal of approval protecting it from inferior clones. Grappa is a brandy distilled from the pulpy mass of skins, pits, and stalks left in the wine press after the juice of the grapes have been extracted to make wine.

Italian farmers' associations hailed the news, which confirmed Italy's lead in the EU quality-food stakes. The Italian Conferderation of Farmers said "this is very important because it defends an Italian product that has suffered heavy attacks from international food pirates over the last few years".

Coldiretti, another farm association, said the EU's certificate of provenance "protects Italy's best-loved drink and Italy's most imitated wine distillation from counterfeiters who falsely produce it in South Africa, Argentina and the United States".

Grappa has almost 20% of the Italian spirits market, followed by whisky with 15%, brandy with 9.7%, rum and gin with 5.4%, vodka with 3.2%, tequila with 0.8% and cognac with 0.7%.