Distillery B.lo Nardini is a company founded in 1779 by Bortolo Nardini in Bassano del Grappa in the province of Vicenza. Today it appears that it is the oldest distillery in Italy. In addition to being the first steam distillery, it is one of the largest distilleries in Italy and in the world. The entire company has 70 employees and 2 million liters produced per year. The factory is located in Bassano del Grappa where you can also find the main office that in 2004, for the 225th anniversary, was recreated by the architect Massimiliano Fuksas, called "Bolle". This structure consists of glass bubbles supported by a steel structure which contains not only the main structure but also the research and development sector.
It is an ancient story of the Nardini aquavite, a story that began in 1779 when Bortolo Nardini opened in Bassano its first distillery with attached grapperia, right on the Ponte Vecchio, the ancient bridge designed by Palladio and symbol of the town of Vicenza.
Today, as then, the grapperia has remained unchanged and still now represents a meeting place for the inhabitants of Bassano and doc, who come here between ancient shelves that house the precious bottles to savor the precious distillate and immerse themselves in the tradition of Bassano.
The history of the distillery is marked by an alternation of periods of glory and difficulty that the company faces with the tenacity and passion typical of these lands.
In 1860 the great innovation: the traditional direct-fire distillation is replaced by the steam one, which will give the distillate that unmistakable taste and constancy of quality that is still today its distinctive feature.
The years of the Great War are difficult times for these areas, sad theater of great battles, but also mark the fortune of the aquavit that flows in rivers among the soldiers at the front and cheers and warms the long nights in the trenches. After the war, the habit of taste and scent of grappa does not lose popularity and spreads among young people, becoming a symbol of Bassano.
The Second World War marks another dark period for the city and for the Distillery, whose products are often confiscated by the Germans.
The '50s and' 60s bring the growth boom for the Distillery that sees its fans expand in Italy and in the world and opens a new distillery in Monastier di Treviso; they were also marked by the introduction of two important innovations: the aging of grappa in oak barrels and the vacuum distillation, which makes it possible to distill at a low temperature, thus obtaining a product of superior quality.
The production of grappa has remained unchanged over the centuries, handed down from generation to generation as a rare and precious jewel to be kept with care, even if modified in the innovations that have allowed to improve the quality of the product. It is a process made of attention, tradition and commitment, marked by the succession of the seasons.
Today, as in the past, steam is the protagonist, who with his gentle strength crosses the fermenting pomace gently extracting its alcohol content to create a precious distillate that for centuries has accompanied the history and tradition of Bassano. Just enter the historic grappa at the Ponte Vecchio between old marble floors, the large wooden counter in the middle, between alembics and shelves full of neatly lined bottles to breathe the history, passion and tradition behind this precious product that is the result of earth and the dedication of man.