The art of distillation in Lombardy has it roots in a past full of tradition and names that have rightfully won fame in that activity. The Jesuit father Francesco Terzi Lana (Brescia, 1631 - 1681) applied his knowledge of physics to distillation, devoting a third volume of his best-known work Magisterium Naturae to it. According to some non confirmed thesis, he conducted his research in collaboration with another Jesuit father, the German Athanasius Kircher (Geisa, 1602 - Rome 1680), author of the surprising Mundus Subterraneus.
Lombardy has a great variety of vine species, flanked by typical regional grapes such as Bonarda, Croatina and Groppello Gentile. The Oltrepò Pavese holds the record in the production of Pinot Nero in Italy. The areas of Brescia, with Franciacorta, and Bergamo offer a very interesting variety of fresh marcs for distillation. There is also Valtellina, where Nebbiolo, the Piedmontese vine species par excellence, has found expression in remarkable wines such as Sfursat.
It must also be said that this region, more than others, has seen a reduction in the number of distilleries in the last 50 years. Alongside the well-known wine brands that make or bottle their own Grappa, many stills have remained typically artisan, working with flowing steam boilers.
However, it must also be pointed out that, like in other parts of Italy, continuous-cycle stills made their appearance in the 1960’s, causing the closure of many artisan-type plants.