Grappa is an alcoholic beverage, a fragrant, grape-based pomace brandy of Italian origin that contains 35 to 60 percent alcohol by volume (70 to 120 US proof). The flavour of grappa, like that of wine, depends on the type and quality of the grapes used, as well as the specifics of the distillation process. Grappa is made by distilling the skins, pulp, seeds, and stems (i.e., the pomace) left over from winemaking after pressing the grapes.
Grappa was originally made to prevent waste by using these leftovers. A similar drink, known as acquavite d'uva, is made by distilling whole must. Grappa is now a protected name in the European Union. To be called grappa, the following criteria must be met:
- Produced in Italy, or in the Italian part of Switzerland, or in San Marino
- Produced from pomace
- Fermentation and distillation must occur on the pomace—no added water