Family-owned and a family story
Bepi Tosolini is named after its patriarch Giuseppe Tosolini, a native of Friuli better known by his nickname Bepi. Born in 1918, as the First World War drew to its bloody conclusion, it was soon after the Second World War when Bepi started making grappa from local grapes. Although he'd grown up with local winemaking and distilling traditions, he set about making a new style of grappa.
Bepi started his career in the late 1930s in the local wine industry as a partner in a modest company of which he soon become the sole owner. In 1943, he started distilling grappa, a move that would change his life and profoundly influence the grappa industry.
Before Bepi started distilling in 1943, grappa was crudely distilled from the leftover waste (vinaccia) from winemaking. It was a cheap rough spirit drunk on a daily basis, often with coffee, by workers who couldn't afford more luxurious spirits. Grappa had a reputation for being a drink for peasants. Bepi wanted to make a better quality spirit and he did so by using his own design of alembic steam stills, and ageing his product in ashwood vats rather than traditional oak casks, so producing clear rather than amber-coloured grappa.
Bepi's wife Giovanna also played a critical role in the development of his grappa, managing the company and handling daily routines allowing Bepi to travel around Italy to sell his grappa ever further afield. So successful and highly regarded was Bepi Tosolini's grappa, that in the 1950s he set about building a new distillery in Udine, and with it the largest grappa cellar in Italy.
As the business grew so a new even larger distillery was commissioned, among the vineyards just outside Udine. Completed in 1973, the traditional stills moved from the previous distillery were joined by new bain-marie stills. This is also when Giovanni, their eldest son, who had already worked at the distillery, properly followed in his father's footsteps and started overseeing production.
In what is such a family business, it was almost inevitable that Giovanni's children, Giuseppe, Bruno and Lisa would join the company. They now work alongside their father at their grandfather's distillery with Bruno overseeing production and Lisa very much the international face and driving force behind marketing.
Distillerie Bepi Tosolini
Owner: Tosolini Family
Capacity: 45,000 to 50,000 cases per year
Visitor Policy: Visitors by appointment only
Tel: +39 (0)432 664 144
Website: Distillerie Bepi Tosolini
Address: Via della Roggia 20, Povoletto, Provincia di Udine, 33040
Bepi Tosolini Grappa di Moscato
A single varietal grappa from Bepi Tosolini, distilled exclusively from the pomace of Moscato grapes.
Bepi Tosolini I Legni Rovere
Matured in medium roast, first fill, 225 litre Allier French oak casks, this grappa is made from a blend Cabernet, Refosco, Merlot, Friulano and Moscato
A Mediterranean styled amaro flavoured with extractions from 15 alpine and Mediterranean herbs, most notably Gentian, hand-peeled fresh bitter orange peel
Bepi Tosolini Fragola
Fragola is made by infusing tiny wild strawberries (fragoline di bosco) in alcohol and strawberry distillate for at least four months. Some 50 or so berries
Bepi Tosolini Luna Nera
Luna Nera, meaning black moon in Italian, is a fittingly dark liquorice liqueur made with liquorice extract (10%) from Italy's Calabria region.
Bepi Tosolini Grappa Smoked
A blend of grappa traditionally made using bain-marie stills from Friulian red grapes, then matured in French oak barrels in the Tosolini family's cellar.
Bepi Tosolini Grappa di Cabernet
Made from the pommace of Cabernet Sauvignon from grapes grown in the hills of Friuli Venezia Giulia. Bepi Tosolini use traditional manually controlled
Bepi Tosolini Limoncello
Flavoured with an infusion of peels from Amalfi yellow summer lemons and green winter lemons from southern Italy.
Bepi Tosolini Myrtil
This liqueur from Tosolini is flavoured with wild myrtle blueberries infused in neutral alcohol for four months. Known as bilberries these berries are
Bepi Tosolini Prosecco Grappa
Added to the Tosolini range in 2015, this grappa is made using local Prosecco (Glera)grape pomace.
Bepi Tosolini Grappa di Merlot
A single varietal grappa from Bepi Tosolini, distilled exclusively from the pomace of merlot grapes.
Bepi Tosolini Agricola Grappa Friulana
Made with Refosco, Cabernet and Merlot pomace from the Friuli region, Bepi Tosolini distil within 48 hours from pressing to preserve the intense aromas
Bepi Tosolini Sambuca
Tosolini Sambuca is flavoured with an infusion and distillation of aniseed.
Bepe Tosolini Vecchio 800
Distilled in steam heated alembic copper stills using full-bodied red wines from grape varieties including Merlot, Cabernet and Refosco, from Italy's Fruili
Bepi Tosolini GinT
To make this delightfully Italian gin, the Tosolini family dusted off an old family recipe and with their distillery being set amongst vineyards rather
Bepi Tosolini Grappa di Pinot Grigio
This single varietal grappa from Bepi Tosolini is made with the pomace from Pinot Grigio grapes from Collio and Colli Orientali del Friuli Venezia Giulia.
Bepi Tosolini Castagno Barrique
A luxury aged grappa distilled from Toaci grappa pomace and aged in Castagno Barriques – barrels made from Chestnut wood. Presented in a decanter-style
Bepi Tosolini Grappa di Chardonnay
This single-varietal grappa from Bepi Tosolini is distilled from Chardonnay pomace,