Gentian Brandy from Trentino

This post is also available in: Italiano (Italian)

Gentian brandy is a distillate that comes from the roots of great yellow gentian (Gentiana lutea), a typical flower of the Alpine and Apennine areas, between 3.280 and 8.202 ft above sea level.

The official and authorized harvest takes place between August and September (that is, at the end of the flowering season), and only mature plants are used for their well-developed roots – thus safeguarding the reproductive cycle of the remaining specimens; once cleaned by hand, the roots are cut and fermented according to several different procedures.

33 pounds of gentian roots are usually fermented with a litre of alcohol. Then, they are distilled with a special wood-fired bain-marie still. Thereafter, the liqueur is kept to age in glass containers for at least a year and eventually marketed. The alcohol content ranges from 40% to 45%, while flavour and aroma are quite strong.

Gentian brandy in the province of Trento is exclusively obtained with the special procedure known as “Tullio Zadra bain-marie”: it was actually devised over 150 years ago by a family from Val Rendena and registered with the Trento Chamber of Commerce in 1849.
Other records set the actual establishment of gentian brandy production in 1832 when a local family of farmers were granted the official authorization to harvest gentian roots. The production of this special kind of brandy has gone on ever since.

This post is also available in: Italiano (Italian)


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