The 25th Spirits Selection 2023 by Concourse Mondial de Brussels in Treviso, Italy, was not just a Spirits competition; it was a celebration of tradition, craftsmanship, and innovation. The spirits that were honored, the rich history of Prosecco DOCG, and the dedication of Grappa producers like Castagner, Bonaventua and Bottega all contribute to the vibrant tapestry of Italy’s spirited heritage.
The Spirits Selection 2023 by Concourse Mondial de Brussels brought together the world’s most discerning judges to evaluate and celebrate exceptional spirits. This year, a staggering 2380 products competed for recognition, a testament to the global reach and reputation of this esteemed competition.
Over 100 judges, hailing from all corners of the world, gathered to meticulously assess each entry. Their diverse backgrounds and experiences spanned continents, from the United Kingdom to China, Brazil to Mexico, and Japan to Italy. This international panel of experts ensured that the spirits were evaluated with a truly global perspective, reflecting the multicultural and inclusive spirit of the competition.
Each entry was subjected to rigorous scrutiny, not only for its quality but also for its ability to capture the essence of its origin. The judges’ dedication and expertise added a layer of richness to the competition, showcasing the global appeal and influence of the spirits industry.
As we delve deeper into Treviso’s spirited heritage, it’s essential to understand the intricate art of grappa production. Grappa is a distinctly Italian spirit crafted from the pomace, the grape skins, seeds, and stems left over from the winemaking process. What makes grappa remarkable is not just its ingredients but the meticulous process of distillation and aging.
The process begins with the collection of pomace, often sourced from renowned wine-producing regions like Treviso. The choice of grape varietals, the timing of harvest, and the vinification techniques all influence the character of the pomace and, ultimately, the grappa.
Once the pomace is collected, it is fermented to extract the sugars and flavor compounds. The fermented pomace is then distilled. Traditional grappa is distilled in copper pot stills, a method that allows for precise control of temperature and the separation of alcohol from impurities. The first distillation, known as the “stripping run,” is followed by a second distillation to refine the spirit further.
After distillation, grappa is often aged in wooden barrels, typically oak, although other woods like acacia and cherry may be used. This aging process imparts additional complexity and character to the grappa. The length of aging can vary, and skilled grappa makers like Castagner, Bonaventura and Bottega carefully monitor the maturation process, ensuring the spirit achieves the desired balance of flavors.
The result of these meticulous processes is a spirit that captures the essence of the grapes it originates from. Grappa boasts a wide range of flavors, from fruity and floral to more robust and earthy notes, depending on the grape varieties used and the distillation and aging methods applied.
The production of grappa is an intricate and artisanal craft, one that embodies the same dedication to tradition and innovation that defines the world of spirits. Castagner, Bonaventura and Bottega are shining examples of this tradition, each with their unique approach, but both sharing a profound respect for the heritage of grappa-making that has been passed down through generations.
Visiting their distilleries in the heart of Treviso offers a rare opportunity to witness this age-old craft in action, and to understand the alchemy that transforms grape remnants into a spirit that captures the very spirit of Italy itself.
As a passionate enthusiast of spirits and Italian culture, I’m thrilled to share this journey with you. May your glasses always be full, and your appreciation for tradition and innovation in the world of spirits grow with every sip. Salute!
And looking ahead, mark your calendars for the 26th edition of the Spirits Selection by Concourse Mondial de Brussels, which will venture even farther afield. In 2024, this prestigious competition will set its stage in China, specifically in the enchanting region of Guizhou – Renhuai. Stay tuned for what promises to be another thrilling celebration of the world’s finest spirits on a global scale. Cheers to the future!
25th Edition of Spirits Selection 2023 by Concourse Mondial de Bruxelles, Treviso