“No” was the decision handed down regarding the proposed law concerning “home-made grappa”. And we can only heave a huge sigh of relief, being in complete agreement with the Senate’s decision. Basically, what the law proposed by Senators Montani and Divina allowed for was a home distillation of 50 litres of grappa per year that one could offer to friends or, to guests, in the case of an agritourism. The National Institute of Grappa, to which we belong, fought hard against the approval of this law.
The legalization of home-made grappa not only risked the circulation a low quality product, but also posed a risk to public health. Often in fact, the grappa produced at home with an unauthorized still is dangerous. The risk is the infamous methyl alcohol, that emerges in the form of droplets from the serpentine. It is no surprise that even as far back as 1400 one of the fathers of brandy, the Sienese Vannuccio Birugiccio, warned aspiring grappa-makers of the potential dangers. Speaking of «acqua di vita» or the water of life, he wrote that if one does not know what one is doing, it should more properly be called «acqua di morte» or the water of death.
And let us also remember the importance of protecting a product, of remaining faithful to artisan distillation, which has become typical of this land. Not to mention unfair competition. But simply in defense of a product that has a place in our history and our culture.