Food & Beverage - Destinations

Make Grappa Great Again with Rossi d’Angera

By Editorial Team
5 min read

From the most ancient family recipes and from historical tools and machinery, Rossi d’Angera brings grappa into its new millennium. World ambassador of ancient art and of the famous distillate, increasingly present in international cocktail bars. Fascinating aromas and complex procedures, new flavors and ancient tools. This is the history of grappa: an evolution that over the decades has made it a fine distillate for tasting and meditation, an ingredient for the most contemporary mixology, and ambition for the bartenders of the world.

Rossi d’Angera, a history of over 170 years

With knowledge, tradition, tools and family recipes, Rossi D’Angera has been preserving this history since 1847, becoming a worldwide symbol for the culture and art of grappa. The grappa Rossi D’Angera was born 174 years ago due to a surplus in the wine harvest that convinced Bernardo Rossi to build the first barrels, learning the art of the grappa maker.


Since then, the market and the ideal consumer have evolved. Rossi d’Angera, too. It has increasingly intercepted new opportunities for consumption, involving bartenders and mixologists from all over Italy and evolving its grappas into different intensities, fragrances and nuances.

Grappa: the protagonist of signature drinks

A second Golden Age for the Italian flagship distillate, which from a simple after-dinner drink has become the undisputed protagonist of signature drinks in wine bars and cocktail bars all over the world. The versatility of Rossi d’Angera grappas also derives from the flavors, fragrances and ingredients chosen directly from the territory of lower Lake Maggiore; worked with traditional and natural techniques, passed on and partly innovated.

Today, the production includes 17 labels of grappas, both young and barrel-aged ones. The common denominator is a slow and delicate process to extract all the nuances of the grapes of the territory. From Nebbiolo to Barbera, from Vespolina to Croatina – a rare grape, to Bussanello, Merlot and Chardonnay.

At the helm, Arturo Rossi, the fifth generation of the family, takes care of the distillation in all its steps: from the choice of fresh pomace used to the distillation with steam boilers; to the cutting of heads and tails by hand and the control of temperatures. Secrets that Rossi d’Angera has been handed down from father to son since 1847.

Rossi d’Angera: visionaries, far-sighted, precursors

The Rossi family were the forerunners of soft and delicate grappas. Visionary and far-sighted, they were the first to anticipate the tastes of the new market. The slow and delicate, almost natural processing of the pomace, as well as the use of early machineries such as the Ergot distiller and steam boilers, have always allowed Rossi d’Angera to be true visionaries in the art of grappa. Among the curiosities Rossi d’Angera keeps is the liter counter machine. A fiscal meter produced by Siemens & Co. of Charlottenburg (Berlin) during the 19th century. It was used to count the quantity of a distilled product and to control its strength. 


Forerunners in the aging process, the Rossi family, have always been committed to spreading the culture of drinking well. It was in the 1920s that the Rossi family began producing grappas aged from 3 to 5 years. They preceded not only a fashion but also a whole new way of distilling in favor of sweeter and softer grappas; over time, more and more appreciated by the new public.

150 thousand bottles all over the world

Led by Arturo Rossi, direct heir of the founders, and his son Nicola, Rossi d’Angera can boast a production of 150 thousand bottles per year of the highest quality. They are divided between grappa, gin, bitters, vermouth, bitters and other liqueurs distributed for the most part in Italy. To a lesser extent, about 20%, production reaches Germany, Belgium, Spain, Switzerland, England, Austria, Canada, North America, and Australia.    

The grappa of Angera is obtained with the pomace of Angera, Taino, Barza, Capronno, Ranco, Morazzone and Golasecca. It is very aromatic because the pomace comes from fruity grapes. The vines are the Prealps’ classic ones: Nebbiolo, Chardonnay, Vespolina, merlot, Croatina.

Arturo Rossi President and Master Distiller

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The Rossi family has reached a level of maturity and success recognized around the world. There are now 17 labels, including younger, more delicate grappas—Trailaghi, made from white Chardonnay pomace distilled in purity. Then there are the more aged grappas, even 20 years old, among which the highlight is Altana del Borgo 1988. A vintage grappa aged in different woods of Allier, Limousin and Tronçais. Riserva Personale is the most representative grappa of the Rossi. It is obtained from an original recipe, handed down from generations.

It is produced from precious Nebbiolo and Dolcetto grapes and ages for more than 5 years in Slavonian oak casks. Then there is the Amandola line, aged 18 months in medium toasted Allier and Lomousin barriques, aged enough to be soft and smooth both in the version made of Nebbiolo grapes only and in the version made of Moscato d’Asti pomace. The Rossi family still preserves in the Distillery the historical vintages of some of these precious grappas, heirlooms guarded with care.        

The evolution of grappa

Rossi d’Angera are true brand ambassadors spreading the versatility and culture of grappa in the world. Milan, Rome, California: these are the cities where the first three Brand Ambassadors come from. Three personalities, recognized in the contemporary mixology scene and appreciated for their ingenuity and creativity, are already working to spread Rossi d’Angera culture and experience in their cities with new dedicated recipes.


The grappa performs well even in mixology. However, it must have a gentle and fragrant bouquet, so grappas from grape varieties such as Moscato, Chardonnay, Malvasia, as well as some soft aged, can replace whisky, rum or tequila, giving cocktails something extra.

Arturo Rossi President and Master Distiller of Rossi’s

Marco Rociola of The Spirit in Milan; Massimo Stronati of Ettan Restaurant in California; Alessio Giovannesi of Baccano Roma. The three of them narrate the history and evolution of grappa in the mixology world through signature drinks. Cocktails such as the C’Est La Vie by Giovannesi, with grappa Amandola Moscato d’Asti, accentuated by a centrifuged grape acidified; and also Bitter Rossi d’Angera to keep everything balanced. It is a fresh, long-cocktail that puts the distillate in the foreground, enhancing it.

5 min read

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