One of the highlights of the Hello Grappa trip was the day we spent with Bottega Winery! We started off with a beautiful lunch at Antica Osteria Paverno, where we enjoyed Limoncino Spritzes and a delicious selection of Italian favorites.

Limoncino is essentially Limoncello made with grappa, and it’s very refreshing when made into a spritz cocktail, topped with Bottega Gold. This sipper is perfect for spring and summer by the pool, but if you enjoy limoncello all year long as I do, don’t deny this one in the fall and winter! We were a very lucky group on this trip since we had the pleasure of spending the entire day with Bottega. During the lunch, we were delighted to find out that we would be tasting through their wines, including the Prosecco and a 2017 Valpolicella Ripasso Superiore.

To begin we enjoyed our spritz’s paired with grilled polenta and a selection of Italian charcuterie. It’s always delightful, especially when paired with something sparkling because texturally it’s a perfect pairing. After we enjoyed the Bottega Gold on its own, paired with incredible pumpkin ravioli topped with amaretti. The pumpkin ravioli was one of my favorite dishes on the trip, and you will see in other articles just how much of it I enjoyed, with a variety of toppings. After the pasta came the cheese course, which is another favorite of mine. Paired was the 2017 Valpolicella Ripasso which went beautifully with the selection of cheeses. I also had the pleasure of tasting some of the liqueurs including Gianduia and Chocolate, both of which are out of this world! I’m not usually one for sweet, creamy liqueurs, but these two I would drink again and again.

After lunch, we headed to see where they produce all the beautiful glass bottles that the products come in and then headed to Bottega Winery where we got to taste some Valpolicella from barrels. It was a unique experience and I loved being able to see both sides to Bottega! I knew them as a winery which I loved but had no idea the extent of the family business, as well as the extensive portfolio they produce. I was wildly impressed, and if you ever get the opportunity to visit, you absolutely should!  Here in Valpolicella, they are known and produce Ripasso, Recioto, and Amarone wines. These wines are made with Corvina, Molinara, and Rondinella grapes which produce the style of wines mentioned above.

Although this was a grappa trip, it was nice to see the winery and taste wines because the quality of the grapes and wine has a lot to do with the quality of grappa distilleries will produce. Like wine, better quality vineyards and grapes, produce better wines… so the same goes for grappa. Once we were done at the winery, we went to the distillery, where they produce grappa, gin, limoncello, limoncino, and more! We sat down for a masterclass with the master distiller Andrea Minguzzi who took us through the spirits portfolio and then onto the liqueurs. It was a fascinating lecture where I learned a lot more about the distillation process, and just how much work goes into developing the perfect flavors and aromas in these spirits. It is a science and a passion, and Andrea has both.

Once we were full of spirits, it was time to eat again. We headed to Treviso which is a great area full of restaurants, shops, great apartments, and so much more. We stopped for a cocktail at a great local bar called Cloakroom. Its a quaint dark bar with a very laid back vibe, serving grappas and a unique gin selection. Here we learned how to make a Grappa Negroni as well as other grappa cocktails, using Bottega’s grappa and gin. It was a fun experience, and since it was my first spirit trip, I loved being able to enjoy cocktails between all the grappa tastings. After the bar, we headed to Corder Vino E Cucina for a gourmet dinner.

We began with a bit of Bottega Rosé Gold paired with Wild Salmon marinated with beetroot. After we tasted the Prosecco DOC  and the Bottega Collio DOC Pinot Grigio with a wonderful Local Fish Risotto.  The Collio was stunning, medium-bodied, crisp, and very pleasant to drink. We ended the dinner with Bottega’s Petalo Moscato paired with Tiramisu, which is always a winner in my book!

Overall the entire day with Bottega was a success. I learned so much more about the company, passions, and portfolio and hope that a lot more of the products make it over to the USA. It was a truly delectable experience, and should you be interested to learn more or find out where you too, can experience Bottega, comment below or shoot me an email!