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Distilleria Gualco

The Gualco grappa legacy is one of family, going all the way back to 1870. That was when former cooper Paolo Gualco founded the Distilleria Gualco. His son, Paolo II, who fought with Garibaldi and longstanding mayor of the village, kept the family business going, as did his son Dulio and his brother Matteo II, a silkworm farmer by trade. The latter got the itch to make grappa at his own distillery, however, the Distilleria Gualco Matteo on his own. Bartolomeo, Matteo's son, then teamed up with his uncle to found the Distilleria Gualco Bartolomeo in 1934. Are you keeping up?

The high quality of the grappa and all that family expertise meant the Gualco family gained a reputation, with Bartolomeo becoming known as the ‘wizard of the grappa’. He had no children, so Duilio’s daughter Susanna was selected from a considerable number of candidates (all nieces and nephews, obviously).

Eventually, she became the main producer of the three Gualco distilleries. Her son Alessandro Soldatini succeeded Susanna and in 2016 was elected president of the Consorzio Tutela Grappa Piemonte and Barolo, spending four years protecting the economic, cultural, and traditional values of Piedmontese Grappas. In 2021 the company became Distilleria Gualco di Giorgio Soldatini & C. s.a.s. As Alessandro’s son Giorgio took over, with help from his father and sibling Marcella, who chips in when they’re not busy being a psychotherapist.

Quite the epic tale, isn’t it? Nothing like 150 years of one family making grappa.

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