Easter Sunday was spent with a friend whom we had not seen in a long time. Time spent with him is always fun; besides great food and conversation, his home is filled with all sorts of fun toys. Our previous visit had us playing with his theremin; this time around we discovered that he has a pot still. While the still may be legal in Nova Scotia, moonshine is not. Whereas it is easy enough to purchase a still in Nova Scotia, officially, they are sold for the purpose of water purification and essential oil extraction. In the past few years, artisanal distilling has begun to flourish in the province, with small private distillers opening in Lunenburg, Antigonish and Guysborough counties. However, the Alcohol and Gaming Division of Service Nova Scotia that oversees the Liquor Control Act does not allow distilling in the home. Needless to say, we were more than a little curious about the still since, until very recently, no-one was (officially) making grappa in Nova Scotia. As the Nova Scotia wine industry has been flourishing over the past few years, we had already been fantasizing about the possibility of making Grappa in Nova Scotia.
The beauty of moonshine, white liquor, white lightning, mountain dew, hooch, homebrew, white whiskey, or its many named incarnations, is that it can be made with virtually any ingredient(s).
For the more distinguished pallet (arguably... ) there is the process of distilling the leftover grape residue (skin, stems, and seeds) from the wine-making process. Ironworks Distillery, a micro distillery located in Lunenburg, has recently added grappa to its line of various distilled products. Currently, they offer three different types of grappa made from either L'Acadie Blanc, Geisenheim, or Leon Millot. They receive their pomace from Avondale Sky Winery.
While grappa is legal in Nova Scotia, distilling and making one's own grappa at home is not. Sadly, since that is not likely to change in the near future, learning all that is involved in the making of grappa can at least sate part of our curiosity. In the meantime, we can also fantasize about starting our own micro-distillery. After all, there are twenty-three wineries in Nova Scotia, and something creative should be done with all that pomace. Philosophically speaking, the wise use of our resources is a form of respect, not just for fellow humans but, more broadly for nature.
"Gran bella cosa l'amore. Ma anche la grappa non è male, e si trova al supermercato"