Though it may surprise you, Italy is not just about wine, and Villa Zarri excels at an important Italian tradition few are aware of: the making of world class spirits such as Brandy. Indeed, many experts believe Villa Zarri Brandy to be the best made in Italy today.
Villa Zarri makes its Brandy from high quality wine made from Trebbiano Toscano and Trebbiano Romagnolo, which needs to be perfectly clear, low in sulphide content (if not the distillation procedure risks bringing out unpleasant odours and flavours), high in acidity and resistant to oxidation. However, high quality grapes and wine are not enough to guarantee a world class spirit, and at Villa Zarri the all-important discontinuous distillation method is employed, using copper Charentais still that ensures a final product of much deeper, cleaner and richer aromas and flavours. The Brandy is aged in small 350 litre French oak (Limousin and Allier) barrels.
There are many different brandies available from Villa Zarri, but our favourite is the Traditional 10 Year Old Blend, made up of a blend of distillated spirits of different years and ageings and the 21 Year Old Blend Vintage Brandy, made from a blend of four Brandies all from 1988. While the 10 Year Old Blend is more delicate and floral, with delicate sweet spicy accents, the 21 Year is a marvelously complex effort redolent in chestnut honey, vanilla and licorice nuances.
Villa Zarri also makes a stellar Nocino, or walnut liqueur, made by steeping high quality alcohol with organically-grown walnuts, cloves, cinnamon, sugar and water for roughly sixty days.
Last but not least, don’t miss out on visiting the beautiful main building of Villa Zarri, a must-see (it’s open to the public and is the site of concerts and art exhibits) which dates back to 1578 and was built by the Marquis Nerio Lorenzo Pietro Angelelli “…upon returning from his travels to distant lands”.