When I went to the Villa De Varda tasting two weeks ago, I believed that it was going to be only grappa, but to my pleasant surprise there were also a number of liqueurs on the table. Michele Dolzan, General Director of the Villa De Varda Distillery said they only use the finest fruit and flowers from the Trentino area to make their liqueurs.
Liqueur Mela Verde (Green Apple) Made from Trentino green apples and grain alcohol. Michele said they use golden delicious apples, which are yellow green in color and are recognized as DOP “Mela Val di Non”. Trentino is famous for its apples. The apples are picked in September at ultimate ripeness after a careful selection. They are kept in an infusion of pure clear grain alcohol and refined cane sugar (16g/l) for 60 days in stainless steel vats and constantly monitored. The infusion is bottled quickly to retain the liqueur’s freshness. It is aromatic with the aromas of sliced green apples. It has some acidity and the slight sweetness of the green apple. 750ml $69.99
Michele poured some the liqueur into a half glass of prosecco and the flavor of the green apple became even more intense. It was a great idea and I really enjoyed it.
Liqueur Mirtillo (Blueberry) made from ripe blueberries picked in the forest of Trentino and grappa. Michele said the blueberries are gathered by hand in the coolest hours of the day to preserve their delicacy. They are kept in an infusion of grappa and refined sugar (20g/l) for 60 days in stainless steel vats that are constantly monitored. It has typical blueberry fruit aromas, which are very fragrant. 750ml $69.99
I once tried this at home, placed the blueberries in a jar, added clear grappa and sugar and stored it in a dark place for 3 months. When I opened the jar the liquid was still clear but the blueberries lost all their color. They tasted like grappa pills.
Limone Liqueur (Lemon) made from lemon and lemon skins and pure grain alcohol. Mr. Dolzen said the lemons come from Lake Garda. The lemons are picked at ultimate ripeness and are blended with thick, light lemon colored peel and then left in a pure grain distillate for 60 days. Purified sugar is added to the final infusion, 18g/l. This is a fresh tasting lemon liqueur which is not too sweet; you can really taste the lemon. 750ml $ 69.99
Elderflower Liqueur 100% fresh Elderflowers and wheat alcohol. Hand picked in the spring, the creamy white Elderflowers come from the nearby Trentino forests. They are macerated for 60 days in sterile, stainless steel tanks with wheat and refined sugar (22g/l). It has a floral, slightly fruity nose with flavors of fruit and herbs. It is very distinctive. This is 21% Alcohol by volume the others are 28%. 750ml $79.99
Michele poured hot green tea into a cup and then added the Elderflower Liqueur. It was a pleasant surprise and made a great combination.
Liqueur alla Camomilla — an infusion of the heads of Chamomile flowers, in a pure distillate of wheat alcohol and Pinot Grigio grappa. Fresh picked from May to September, herbaceous Chamomile flower heads from the mountains around Trentino are infused for 60 days in stainless steel tanks with wheat alcohol, Pinot Grigio grappa and pure cane sugar (18g/l). It has delicate aromas and flavors of chamomile. I like it by itself. Michele recommends it slightly chilled but I like it at room temperature and when I have a sore throat I like to drink it with hot tea. 750ml $79.99