Bottega / Alexander
Sandro Bottega has two open secrets why his grappas are so sought after: the content and the packaging. Both are special and belong to the top class. Those who have not already fallen in love with the packaging will do so at the latest when the transparent, delicate bodilessness trickles down the palate, flatters it and unfolds its full aroma.
Sandro, who also calls himself and his products Alexander, has his own glass manufactory, which hand-blows the most exquisite grappa bottles for him. L'arte nella Grappa already starts with the art outside the grappa, with the unique vessels. Not only are they handmade and unique, but they also shine with their extraordinary shapes. Most of them are belly-shaped bottles, which enclose ornate decorative figures, letters or entire company logos. The venerable nineteenth-century farmhouse where the grappa is distilled houses an entire museum of antique grappa bottles that offer a glimpse into an archaic world. Each bottle tells its own story.
In 1983, the young, smart Sandro Bottega took over the distillery in the third generation. Chased by the drive, he moved the family business to the area of Bibano di Godega in the Prosecco region of Conegliano. Alexander the now Great immediately oriented himself to the new market needs. Full of adventurous spirit, he travelled to Brazil, the land of sugar cane spirits. He did not discover a new world, but he did find a still that was used for the production of brandy. He experimented with this device in Brazil and rebuilt it in Italy for his native Prosecco grapes.
After Europe, Japan, Chile, Africa, Russia... no country and no continent is safe from the Conquistadore. Today, more than a hundred countries are at his feet, which he supplies with 100,000 mouth-blown bottles annually. Ninety employees comprise the span of his army leadership in production, marketing and administration. He has divided his territory into four segments: his main attraction is grappa, a distillate made from grape marc. Then there are the liqueurs, a mixture of alcohol, fruit and cream. His third pillar is wines, of which prosecco accounts for 80 percent. His absolute sugar mouse is Fragolino, a dessert wine with strawberry aroma - mmhhh, really tempting!
"Quality, typicity, design, innovation and sustainability."
Values of Bottega/Alexander
Between his campaigns, the emperor is on the estate, Villa Rosiana, and lives outside himself. In the 17th century the Castello was built as a convent. Later it converted to a school, then housed a silkworm farm and became a farmhouse for four families until Sandro Bottega came, saw and bought. He remodeled it fancy. He left the old and added new ideas. He created a modern office, a meeting room, a distillery, storage rooms and a showroom with high-tech equipment at its best. Sandro likes technology, and he also loves music and design. He is a musician and plays aromatic rock. He designs his glass bottles himself. He is always setting new trends and inspiring the market with spectacular innovations. He combines his premium grappa with crazy design from traditional craftsmanship. The sales success and the high sales figures of his products worldwide confirm the correctness of his ideas and his strategy.
Napoleon already knew that delicacies are not taller than 1.55 meters - but damn good! Spiritual size trumps everything. And that's exactly how it is with Signor Sandro Bottega: He does good things and speaks loudly about them. In his luxurious showroom on the first floor, there are examples of his special species of bottle collections, for example the Millennium Grappa as a prize for the competition of the best Italian chefs. The little horse for Ferrari, the maple leaf for Canada, the dragon for Singapore Airlines, all shine in illuminated glass. The fashion house Trussardi was graced with exotic glass dyed black. Swarovski with its typical glittering stones that sparkle eternally was also immortalized in glass for posterity. Anyone strolling through the duty-free zone at Zurich airport or in any other international, pulsating metropolis today senses Sandro Bottega's universal omnipresence when they see the products he offers for sale. "The Alexander Society Collection" is wide-ranging and unique.
Chiara Mason is a beautiful Italian, sweet 24 years young. She has been working at "Alexander - aqua di Vita" for six years. Her parents didn't have the money to finance her education, and she couldn't find a free apprenticeship either. Sandro gave her a chance to learn by doing in his business. Together with three other women, she operates the bottling plant for the special grappas, which she fills individually into the Venetian hand-blown bottles made of Murano glass. Each "Amore" with a red heart in its belly is lovingly taken in her hand and filled with the distilled digestive spirit to the exact millilitre. Not every Chardonnay Grappa is given as much attention as this darling.
A silicone stopper seals this artful glass container. Her practiced eye and delicate fingers place the label in the right place and at the right height on the bottle with meticulous precision. Bottle after bottle, day after day, Chiara is tireless in presenting Alexander's spirit at its best. Finally comes the most important part: the quality control of the finished product before the angel heart and the bottle disappear into the silver-coloured cardboard box. Wearing white Santa Claus gloves, the last woman in the chain, Nicoletta Sommariva, takes the bijou in her hands and checks one last time that everything is in order, that no glass splinter has broken off and wandered into the grappa. This week Chiara is labelling. The women do their job rotation weekly in their group. Our Signorina will be doing the quality control part for the next week. Someday she wants to become a group leader and manage an entire department.
Text: Nadja Wielath | Picture: Bottega/Alexander | Source: Vergani Magazine 1