It is thought that grappa has been around for about eight centuries. The Italians claim that back then is when it first appeared in northern Italy. Grappa originated in the town of Bassano del Grappa, close to Monte Grappa. Since it was first produced as a way of using up the remnants left over from wine production, it was drunk by the poorest members of society, mainly peasants and tradesmen. Although born into poverty, grappa became centuries later a high-class, stylish drink. Its image had undergone a radical change. From poor quality home-made moonshine that kept up the spirits of the poor, grappa became a drink that was enthusiastically received at the highest levels of society.
An important role in the making of grappa was played by the significantly improved production technology. Today, grappa is poured into elegant carafes and sold in high-class restaurants alongside expensive cognacs and exclusive wines.
In Chicago, one of the rarest Mazzetti grappas was put up for auction on a level with rare whiskies and Calvados, and sold for 2530 US dollars.
In 1989, the European Union guaranteed Italy the exclusive right to the name grappa.
There are now more than one hundred official producers of grappa in Italy.