Distilleria Giuseppe Castelli Grappa di Dolcetto Review

While we all love Italian wine, there is one thing that we have to admit about wine…

It’s not an Italian invention.

For as much as Italian producers have mastered the creation of wine, the drink existed for centuries before Italy was even a concept. We can trace the roots of wine back over 6,000 years and it’s likely that wine will still be here thousands of years into the future.

So, wine isn’t Italian, even though the Italians are some of the top producers.

But there is one drink that is uniquely Italian in every single way:


Made using the skins, seeds, and stems (collectively referred to as pomace) of the grapes we use to create wines, Grappa is a gorgeous drink that offers a completely different experience to wine. Sweeter and stronger, Grappa is beloved both as an aperitif and digestif, with the latter tending to be the more popular usage.

It also represents something that is distinctly Italian in the sense that Grappa was invented out of a desire to make full use of everything we have. Grappa is a testament to what happens when people refuse to waste what they have.

And we wouldn’t change a thing about it.

Of course, something that is so representative of Italy, as well as being a direct product of the Italian wine industry, deserves its place in the Xtrawine catalogue. And if you browse our selection, you’ll find several examples of Grappa that you can try.

But in this article, we’re going to look at just one.

The Distilleria Giuseppe Castelli Grappa di Dolcetto is among the best Grappas that we’ve ever tasted. And here, we’re going to look at why, in addition to providing you with more information about the company behind this tasty drink.

The Company

Distilleria Castelli traces its roots back to 1963.

It was in this year that the family patriarch, and the man who lends his name to the Grappa we will be reviewing, Giuseppe Castelli purchased the Eugenio Levi distillery. A product of the famed Levi family, the distillery had stood since the 1700s and was already a renowned facility for the production of alcoholic beverages, including Grappa.

In fact, the previous owner of the distillery, Angelo Levi, had six children who worked in the family business.

That made the family’s disused distillery an important purchase.

With his new asset in hand, Giuseppe was ready to start making Grappa of his own.

He just needed to get the distillery up and running again.

Giuseppe bought brand new equipment, giving the ancient distillery a complete overhaul in the process. While protecting the traditions that made it such an important building, Giuseppe brought it into the modern age so he could make it the cornerstone of the business he hoped to create.

That was almost 60 years ago.

Today, Giuseppe’s son, Sergio operates the distillery alongside his wife. The company that Giuseppe founded has become renowned as one of Italy’s best niche Grappa producers. The family follows every phase of their production with the dedication and heart that Giuseppe poured into every drink that he ever created.

And now, Distilleria Castelli is a force to be reckoned with in the Italian wine industry.

The company’s success stems from its use of traditional production processes, with care taken in every aspect of the making of the Grappa. Sergio and his family will only use the finest pomace available to him and he has built relationships with some of Piedmont’s leading winemakers to ensure he gets what he needs.

The company’s drinks are sold in Italy, Germany, the United States, and Russia. Amazingly, even Kenya has shown an appetite for the amazing Grappa created by Distilleria Castelli. 

And we’re sure you’ll love it just as much as the customers in those countries do.

So, why have we chosen Distilleria Giuseppe Castelli Grappa di Dolcetto as our Grappa of choice for this article?

Let’s find out.

The Review

When we pour Italian wine, we tend to look for specific colours.

With white wine, we’re looking for straw yellow, perhaps with a tint of green to show potential for ageing. For red, we’re looking for a ruby colouring, with just the occasional flash of purple.

With Grappa, we look for clarity.

Distilleria Giuseppe Castelli Grappa di Dolcetto is a beautiful Grappa that has a near-transparent appearance. Hold the glass up to the light and the liquid will cast little inner reflections that almost make it crystalline in appearance.

But that’s far from the most impressive thing about it.

If you can take your eyes off the liquid long enough to introduce the bouquet to your nose, you’ll be almost overwhelmed with a stunning suite of scents.

The complex bouquet smells fresh, with the fragrance of grapes being the predominant one. A little exploration also unveils some floral notes, which temper the fruitier fragrances that waft their way up to your nose.

Finally, the time comes to take a sip.

This is when you will see exactly what Grappa has to offer to the Italian wine love.

Intense in its flavours, thanks both to the production method and the fact that the drink has an alcohol volume of 45%, this Grappa amazes as it travels around your mouth.

A subtle softness underpins the more intense flavours, creating a gorgeous harmony that tempts you towards the next sip.

The aftertaste also stands out, leaving behind a subtle trace of sweetness in the wake of the more intense and fruity experience you enjoy when drinking.

Ideally served alone at the end of a meal, this Grappa does offer some interesting combinations for the more adventurous among you. It pairs well with smoked cold cuts, as well as mixing nicely with more refined desserts, especially those made with dark chocolate.

Maintain its ideal temperature of between 10 and 12 degrees Celsius and you have a Grappa that will wow you from the moment you open the bottle.

The Distilleria Giuseppe Castelli Grappa di Dolcetto is available on the Xtrawine site right now.

Snap it up while it’s still available.


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