In the absence of "La Notte degli Alambicchi Accesi", a spectacular event traditionally scheduled for the Immaculate Conception in Santa Massenza di Vallelaghi but this year skipped due to Covid, enthusiasts of Trentino artisan grappa can buy the precious distillate online while waiting to return to visit the distilleries of the village or to be able to participate in the travel proposals and taste experiences of the Trentino Wine and Flavors Route.

There is a small village, a few kilometers from Trento, which every year, on the occasion of the Immaculate Conception, comes alive to welcome the many visitors who go there for " The Night of the Still Alembics ", a unique event that celebrates history and characteristics of Trentino artisan grappa through engaging itinerant theatrical performances, organized with the support of Trentino Marketing and the coordination of the Trentino Wine and Flavors Route as part of the promotion of provincial wine events called #trentinowinefest.

The village is Santa Massenza di Vallelaghi , a town of a hundred inhabitants, called the "Little Nice de Trent", which boasts the highest concentration of family-run artisan distilleries: 5 - Casimiro Distillery, Francesco Distillery, Giovanni Poli Distillery, Distillery Giulio & Mauro and Maxentia - located within walking distance of each other.

This year it will not be possible to repeat this beautiful and long-awaited tradition. Covid has imposed a dutiful stop to an event that made joviality and being together its winning weapon, with the public that, divided into groups, was led by the theater company through the small distilleries transformed for the occasion into unique theatrical stages .

But distillation continues - given that the regulations of the Istituto Tutela Grappa del Trentino allow it until December 31st - and the producers, thanks to the good quality of the 2020 grapes that provided excellent skins, are working to offer lovers of this distillate the best tasting and olfactory experiences, through the single grape varieties dedicated to testimonial wines - from Teroldego to Marzemino, from Müller Thurgau to Nosiola and Vino Santo - but also fruit spirits linked to local productions and the most curious productions, such as those made with extra virgin olive oil , gentian or other roots from the Trentino woods. To taste them, comfortably at home , just choose from the many companies that are active in home shipments .

Furthermore, as soon as the movements are allowed , even tourists from all over Italy and beyond will be able to visit the distilleries that remain open all year round to welcome visits reserved for small groups in total safety , which allow you to get to know this particular product up close. , born in difficult conditions, to recover what remained from the processing of wine, but over time, thanks also to a strict protocol, it has become a food of excellence, which is able to express the countless aromas and aromas that the many Trentino pomace are able to to release.

This is thanks to the high quality of the raw materials - coming from the most suitable production areas of Trentino and processed when they are still fresh - and to the traditional bain-marie method in a discontinuous still , which guarantees uniform, slow and continuous heating of the content in order to obtain the best extraction of aromas.

Among the opportunities to learn about the stories that lie behind the glass, the Trentino Wine and Flavors Route offers Alambicchi e Castelli , an exciting three-day holiday proposal that alternates the visit of suggestive manors in Trentino with that of the partner distilleries of the Association, with tailor-made programs together with the guest based on the areas they want to visit and their preferences, but also the Marc and Alambicchi experience , an afternoon in the company of a grappa producer who will tell the guest this ancient family tradition handed down for centuries from father to son, with inevitable final guided tasting.

Gift ideas that can be purchased now to be enjoyed all year round , when the health situation allows it, although certainly the ideal period is from September onwards , when the marcs arrive fresh from the wineries ready to be processed and it is therefore possible. admire the fascinating stills in operation , waiting for the Night of the Lit Stills 2021.

The night of lit stills

The night of the stills lit is a project by the cultural association "Santa Massenza piccolo Nizza de Trent", APT Trento, Monte Bondone, Valle dei Laghi and Istituto Tutela Grappa del Trentino, organized with the support of Trentino Marketing and the coordination of Strada del Vino e dei Sapori del Trentino as part of the promotion of provincial wine events called #trentinowinefest, and with the collaboration of the Community of the Valley, the Consortium Pro Loco Valle dei Laghi Trento Monte Bondone and the Municipality of Vallelaghi.

The grappa of Trentino

Trentino grappa comes from a century-old family tradition that has been handed down from father to son. Its production strongly characterizes the whole Trentino area: each area of the province, in fact, is characterized by particular microclimates which are suitable as natural habitats for various types of vines. And so, like wine, grappa is also characterized according to the valley of origin: the Cembra Valley is specialized in the production of Müller Thurgau grappa, the Piana Rotaliana in that of Teroldego, the Valle dei Laghi - and, in particular Santa Massenza - in that of Nosiola, Vallagarina in that of Marzemino.

The companies, all of medium-small size and family-run, work exclusively with very fresh pomace, in modest quantities, to guarantee quality, aromas and elegance to the finished product, and distil it according to the traditional "bain-marie" method inside the stills of copper, which heat the content gradually and uniformly, in order to ensure the extraction of aromas. During the operation, the master distillers separate the essence in the head, tail and heart, eliminating the first two and keeping only the latter, which represents the best of the production.

To safeguard these production techniques, enhance the product and promote it, the Istituto Tutela Grappa del Trentino was born in 1969, which imposes rules of self-discipline and strict controls, to guarantee an indisputable quality, also certified by external bodies, such as the Foundation Mach, Agricultural Institute of San Michele all'Adige, which deals with laboratory analyzes, and by the Chamber of Commerce of Trento, where a Commission for the organoleptic examination is operative which checks its clarity, harmony of aromas, softness and typical taste.