The Master Distiller
“Grenouille was fascinated by this process. If anything in life had aroused his enthusiasm – though certainly not an enthusiasm shown on the outside, but hidden, like a cold flame – it was precisely this process of getting the fragrant essence out of things with fire, water, steam and an invented apparatus.”
Patrick Süskind – The fragrance
The Distiller is the director of the distillation process. He decides the style of the Grappa, knowing perfectly his work tool, i.e. the still, and marc.
Marc, Still and Distiller make up the triptych of taste for every Grappa, and the autograph that makes each Grappa different from the others.
The Distiller operates directly with all his skill in removing the head of the Grappa. The head is the very first part of the Grappa that comes out the still, full of pungent and aggressive substances: for this reason it is separated from the next part, called the Heart.
The Heart is the middle part of the distillate flowing from the still, rich in aromatic substances and fragrances. The Heart is the most valuable part for the taste of the Grappa and all of it must be preserved!
The final action by the Distiller is that of removing the tail. The tail is the last part of the distillate flowing from the still, full of oily substances which must absolutely be eliminated due to their unpleasantness.
All these operations are performed manually by the Distiller. If you have the chance to see a distiller at work, it will be like watching a conductor controlling the high and low notes of the musical instruments, and moving in jerks or slowly amidst the pipes and kettles, to coordinate the general harmony of every part of the symphony.