It is a space with some real atmosphere.
We also tried Gianni's Barolo Grappa, made from Nebbiolo pomace sourced from the likes of Parusso and Giorgio Rivetti. It held a svelte texture, and fruit character that lingered in the mouth. I don't usually think of blueberries as a Nebbiolo signature, but there was plenty of blueberry fruit in that grappa. Also some burnt mandarin orange. Gianni labels his spirits with a wax that is the same color as what he associates with the fruit of the distillate. He labelled his Barolo grappa with a blue wax, so I assume he sensed some blueberries in there at some point as well.
Gianni has the pomace for his grappa shipped overnight from the wineries, and he distills it the day it arrives. When you speak with other producers making a filigree style of grappa it becomes clear that an emphasis on fresh pomace is something that they all share. Something else that they tend to share is a copper alembic still. Gianni brought his in over the border from Austria originally, and tinkered with it until he was satisfied with a modified design of his own. He distills with the aid of a hot water bath, in the bain-marie style, instead of the direct flame method that was used by Romano Levi.
Perhaps my favorite Capovilla distillate of those being brought into the States right now is the Moscato brandy. It isn't a grappa, in that ths is a distillate of the Moscato juice, not the pomace. The intricate linden and citrus notes that Gianni teases out are many, and that's what I like most about it. It is a distillate for people in love with aroma. And for me it is perfectly pitched on the palate between sweet fruit and dry distillate. Many of Gianni's distillates have a kind of softness to them, a roundness on the finish. Never harsh. But I like the texture of the Moscato brandy especially.
The kind of distillate for which Gianni is best known in Italy itself is probably most summed up by the Ciliegie, which is a cherry eau-de-vie. Gianni loves to source fruit. Especially the fruits that he ate in Italy as a child. He goes to great lengths to find special parcels where organic fruit that he likes is grown, and he travels to Trentino to source the cherries for this distillate. If you get a chance you should really see his tree shaking skills in action, in this wonderful film on his website. Fun stuff.
The Ciliegie from Gianni revealed for me the darker tones of a cherry, such as you might find close to the pit. I imagine it could be great in a cocktail.
I personally found it quite a treat to try the Amarone Grappa, which was aged in French oak barrels. It was my first opportunity to try a grappa of his that had been raised in wood. There are of course very good examples of wood aged grappa available in the States, so I was curious to see how this one stacked up. And the answer was very well. The taste was a bit too soft and caramel laden for me, though. I maybe would have liked it just a touch drier. Gianni sources the grapes partly from Romano dal Forno in the Veneto, so another famous name producer. I was starting to think that Gianni only worked with modernists, but then I remembered that he also makes a Gravner grappa, although it is unfortunately unavailable in the States.
A fun day indeed!