The art of distillation has been a Nonino Family privilege since 1897
Quality, innovation, research, professionalism and love for their work are their distinctive mark. Orazio Nonino, the founder of the family, is ultimately followed by Luigi, Antonio, Benito with Giannola, Cristina, Antonella and Elisabetta.
Orazio Nonino establishes his own distillery in Ronchi di Pavia. Until this point it had been only a moveable still assembled on wheels.
February 2, 1933
A decree is issued stating how Grappa must be bottled: there are to be no more bulk sizes such as demijohns, but only one and two-litre bottles, with a standard label and Government seal. The first Nonino label, portraying the “fogolar furlan” (Friulan fireplace), is born.
May 20, 1962
Benito marries Giannola Bulfoni. Together they embark on passionate research, striving to turn Grappa from a “Cinderella” into a “Queen”. As a result of their marriage, three daughters, Cristina, Antonella and Elisabetta are born.
The Noninos introduce their “Aquavitae Optima”, obtained from the distillation of single varietal pomace from prestigious grape growers: the label indicates the year, the quantity distilled, the litres obtained and the number of the bottle. It is the first of a long series of tests which, in six years would lead to the creation of “Monovitigno” (single varietal) Grappa.
December 1, 1973
The new era of Grappa begins in Percoto. Benito and Giannola create the first Cru single varietal Grappa: not by chance this time but as the result of their love for their work, study, research and experimentation. For such an important event they choose the rarest and most prestigious vine of Friuli: Picolit.
December 1, 1974
Second distillation of Picolit single-grape grappa, first distillation of Ribolla single-grape grappa.
November 29, 1975
Searching for the ancient autochthonous Friulian vine varieties to distil their pomace, the Noninos discover that the most representative of them – such as Schioppettino, Tazzelenghe and Pignolo – are dying out because, as they have not been inserted in the European Community list of the viticultural varieties cultivated in Friuli, their growing is forbidden. These varieties are joined by Ribolla gialla. With the aim of having them officially acknowledged by national and EC boards, thus preserving the biodiversity of the territory, they found the Nonino Risit d’Aur Prize – Gold Vine Shoot to award every year the vine grower that has bedded the best plant of one or more of these vine varieties, and a scholarship to award the best study, both technical and historical, concerning the vine varieties of Ribolla gialla, Schioppettino, Pignolo and Tazzelenghe.
The jury is composed by Luigi Veronelli, Orfeo Salvador (President of the vine-growing and wine-making regional center of Friuli Venezia Giulia), Antonio Calò (director of the vine-growing experimental institute of Conegliano), Ruggero Forti (national and regional president of farmers), Amelio Tubaro (director of agricultural production, Department of Agriculture) and Ennio Nussi (director of the vine-growing and wine-making regional center of Friuli Venezia Giulia).
April 21, 1976
Giannola Nonino starts the bureaucratic procedures for the request of acknowledgement of such vines sending an official letter to the Regional center for vine-growing of Friuli Venezia Giulia, to President Orfeo Salvador, and stimulating with sensibility, passion and persistence the Vine-Growing Experimental Institute of Conegliano, whose director had joined the jury of the prize.
June 14, 1977
With D.M. 14.06.1977 (Ministerial Decree), the autochthonous vines of Friuli, which before were forbidden, are authorized and in 1983 the Nonino risit d’Aur Prize obtains the EEC regulations nr. 382 by which the vines authorized in 1977 become recommended and today they are the flagships of Friulian vine-growing.
The Nonino’s distillery grows from 12 to 24 stills. 1200 quintals of pomace a day are distilled with discontinuous apparatus, working 24 hours a day, holidays included. There is no more silo-stored pomace but immediate distillation for red fermented pomace and 48 hours of ensilage for white pomace (sweet pomace). In the old forge where at the turn of the century Giannola’s father built ploughs, a small distillery dedicated to Cristina, Antonella and Elisabetta Nonino is born: it is made up of 6 particular and exclusive stills created by Benito for the distillation of single varietal Grappa and fruit distillates.
November 27, 1984
The Noninos mark a new turning point. They distil the whole grape and create the Grape Distillate Ùe®. The Ministerial Authorization for the production of the grape distillate (D.M. 20th October, 1984 – G.U. n. 318 of 19th November, 1984) is granted following a specific request by the Noninos.
December 1, 1984
To highlight the preciousness of this new distillate, the Noninos ask Venini, the Master Glassmaker in Murano, to hand-blow a bottle with an image of a bunch of grapes contained within the glass. Thus began the precious Nonino Collection Ùe® Grape Distillate Cru Monovitigno® Picolit which every year is stored in specially dated, hand-blown bottles by Venini, Baccarat and Riedel.
January 31, 1987
The Nonino Distillery marks its 90th year as a “permanent location”: the occasion calls for great celebrations and a book about the Noninos is written by Emilio Rigatti and illustrated by Altan. in the cellars of Cristina, Antonella and Elisabetta begins the ageing process of ÙE® Grape Distillate. This process is unique for innovation and research.
March 7, 1987
This is an unforgettable date: the Honourable Filippo Maria Pandolfi, Minister for Agriculture, officially inaugurates the distillery of Cristina, Antonella and Elisabetta.
November 15, 1989
The Noninos plant 40 hectares of experimental vineyard with Picolit, Ribolla Gialla, Fragolino, Schioppettino and Sauvignon grapes in Buttrio – Friuli.
These grapes will be used to produce Grappa and ÙE® Grape Distillates of unmatched quality and characteristics.
December 4, 1996
The Celebrations of the Centenary of the Family start with “Oh les beaux jours” by Samuel Beckett, directed by Peter Brook and starring Natasha Parry. It is a magic moment underlined by the presence of Peter Brook and many friends.
One Hundred Years of Distillation
January 25, 1997
Altan dedicates to “Ben – Noah’s fourth son” the graphic novel that recounts in sketches the Nonino Family saga. On the occasion of the XXii edition of the Nonino Prize, the “Nonino Vineyards” are introduced: “The Merlot”, “The Tocai”, “The Chardonay” of single varietal Grappa. “The Sauvignon”, “The Malvasia”, “The Refosco” of single varietal ÙE® are launched to celebrate the Hundred years of distillation.
For the Celebration of the Hundred Years of distillation, the 1986 vintage ÙE® Cru Monovitigno® Picolit distillate, aged in Nevers barriques, is bottled in 400 numbered bottles, made of hand-blown Riedel glass and designed by Luca Cendali.
June 2, 1998
Giannola Bulfoni Nonino is awarded “Cavaliere del lavoro” by the President of the Italian Republic: the most important labour honour. Giannola is among the only 25 women awarded in the history of the Republic with the following statement: “Since she was very young she has devoted herself to distillation and to improving the intrinsic value of Grappa, bringing the product up to the level of the most demanding and sophisticated of consumers. She has introduced innovation in the production process so as to create grape distillate. She started, with her husband Benito, the building of a new distillery which was technologically advanced but respectful of tradition and of the environment and, in 1976, she created the Nonino Prize with the clear aim of defending the values of rustic civilization”.
January 29, 2000
A concert by the Mahler Chamber Orchestra conducted by Claudio Abbado for the Twenty-fifth anniversary of the Nonino Prize.
April 3, 2000
After years of research into honey, which in ancient times was thought to be a miracle of nature, Cristina, Antonella and Elisabetta, introduce GIOIELLO®, the distillate of ‘Purity’ obtained from the distillation of honey alone in all the varieties of its tastes, from acacia to chestnut and from sunflower to wildflower honey, each with its delicate, intoxicating and winning spirit, the perfect embodiment of purity.
June 22, 2000
At Christie’s in London, at the most important Italian wine and distillates auction ever held until that moment, some pieces of the Nonino Collection are put up for auction and they fetch from GB£ 1,540 – € 2531,00 vintage 1990, to GB£ 1,595 – € 2664,00 vintage 1989.
October 29, 2000
At the “Salone del Gusto” of Turin, Alain Senderens chef de “Lucas Carton” Paris, and Alfonso Iaccarino chef de “Don Alfonso 1890”, Sant’agata sui due Golfi, are the “godfathers” of ÙE® la riserva ‘dei Cent’anni’, placing it alongside all the great Cognacs, Armagnacs and Rums in respect of its quality, pleasure and sensations, and consider it a perfect partner to Cuban cigars and excellent with exceptionally flavourful cheese.
December 6, 2000
The University of Udine and mr. Claudio Demattè launch the volume “Il caso Nonino, lo spirito d’impresa” (The Nonino case: the spirit of enterprise) by Cristiana Compagno, edited by Utet-Isedi.
December 14, 2000
Jewels and Jewels, the Nonino Collection is introduced in Rome in the jewels world temple: Bulgari, via dei Condotti.
April 4, 2001
At Finarte in Milan ÙE® Cru Monovitigno® Picolit, vintage 1984, La Murrina is auctioned for € 2.169,00.
July 28, 2001
Yokohama. At the Exhibition “Italy in Japan 2001” mounted by Andrea Branzi for the Triennale of Milan, the Grappa Nonino ÙE® Cru Monovitigno Picolit and the Nonino Collection is exhibited in the section “Design as a life style –Design of senses”.
June 9, 2002
The AIS, Italian Association of Sommeliers awards the Nonino Family the prestigious Prize “Oscar del Vino 2002” (Wine Oscar 2002) – Special Prize of the Jury with the following motivation: “… for the extraordinary work that a family has been doing … in favour of a totally Italian product. It recognizes the Noninos’ outstanding image, high quality, careful research and experimentation. Plaudits come from all over, from The President of the Republic to the most prestigious national and international acknowledgements”.
Thirty years ago Benito and Giannola Nonino revolutionized the way of producing and presenting Grappa in Italy and around the world. It was the birth of single varietal Grappa, Monovitigno® Nonino, in which the pomace of Picolit grapes is distilled separately. Their success was so great that most Italian and foreign producers felt compelled to follow the Nonino model.
June 22, 2003
In Bordeaux, GIOIELO®, the Nonino Citrus Fruit Honey Distillate, is the only product selected by the Bordeaux Vinexpo 2003 Committee to represent Italy in the publication “The World in Anticipation”.
October 9, 2003
The Milan Triennale in honour of the Thirtieth anniversary of the Nonino Monovitigno® dedicates to the Nonino The Story of a Passion: an exhibition about the Nonino family.
December 4, 2003
The President of the Italian Republic, Carlo Azeglio Ciampi, awards Giannola and Benito Nonino the prestigious “Leonardo Prize for Italian Quality” for “the absolute quality level, research and innovations which characterize a brand that conveys to the outside world, above all, the importance of family and commitment to one’s work. The Noninos are well-known, true ambassadors for Italian Grappa throughout the world”.
December 6, 2003
The New York Times chooses to dedicate its “Saturday Profile” section to the Nonino family on the occasion of the Thirtieth Anniversary of the creation of the Single-varietal Nonino Monovitigno® Grappa.
December 6, 2003
The International Herald Tribune dedicates a whole article “A Dynamo and her Daughters turn leftovers to Gold” to the Nonino family and puts the article on the front page.
September 6, 2004
“Back to the Beginning” in their great-great grandfather’s distillery. The Noninos re-established their artisanal batch steam stills, 12 for each member of the family, plus one for each grandchild as a sign of continuity of the distillation art, at Ronchi di Percoto for the production of the Nonino Distillate, respecting the tradition and the rhythms of true craftsmanship.
December 1, 2006
The University of Udine confers a special honorary degree in Business Economics to Giannola Bulfoni Nonino with the following justification: “As a cultural entrepreneur she enhances the intrinsic value of Grappa, ennobles it and ensures that it is known throughout the world with the help of an exceptional marketing tool, the Nonino Prize. This awards body which commands high profile cultural patronage and holds important international significance was created by her and she has now directed it in her indefatigable manner for thirty years”.
February 3, 2008
The Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung devoted a whole page to the Nonino Grappa in its prestigious Sunday economic supplement.
At the San Francisco World Spirits Competition, “the largest competition in America with 800 spirits from 63 countries”, the Nonino Grappa Cru Monovitigno® Picolit is awarded the Double Gold medal for excellence in design which recognizes excellence in package design for its artistic merit and brand-enhancing communicative qualities.
May 20, 2009
During the Navarra Gourmet event in Pamplona, Spain, Giannola Nonino is awarded the International Eva Prize 2009, Empresaria del Año (Entrepreneur of the year), reserved to the women bound to the world’s oenogastronomy, with the following motivation:
“Giannola Nonino is one of the most important entrepreneurs in the Italian oenogastronomic overview. Her company, well known all over the world, has been the protagonist of the renaissance of Italian Grappa, the most ancient distillate of Northern Italy. The Nonino tradition started in 1897 with Orazio and has come to our days with Giannola and Benito. Since 1928 the distillery has been in Percoto, province of Udine, where, under the same roof, there are 5 artisan distilleries, one for each member of the family, for a total of 12 discontinuous steam stills for each ember of the family, with the addition of 6 for their grandchildren, as a sign of continuity in the art of distillation. Giannola Nonino and her family are famous also for the Nonino Prize, established in 1975 for the improvement of rustic civilization, acknowledged at international level”.
March 3, 2010
In occasion of the first Ultimate Spirits Challenge, held in New York, competing with over 520 distillates from 42 countries, Grappa Nonino il Merlot ins the Chairman’s Trophy, the most important acknowledgement of the category World Brandy, Grappa & Grape Distillate.
November 16, 2010
High “Spirit” Craftsmanship. The Nonino Collection ÙE® Cru Monovitigno® Picolit joins the Permanent Collection of Italian Design of the Triennale Design Museum.
The collection represents one of the most important examples of high craftsmanship that combines the art of distillation of the Nonino Family with the ancient processing of the glass-making tradition of Venini in Murano and the most important European traditions of Baccarat and Riedel crystal. Unique example in the world of the excellence of the Made in Italy.
Fendi presents The Whispered Directory of Craftsmanship a guide to Made in Italy, strictly Handmade. Borsalino, Buccellati, Fendi, Maserati, Nonino Distillatori, Riva, Rubelli, Slow Food, Venini… brands with different places of origin, but joined by a great passion for craftsmanship, for the attention to details, for a mix of tradition and innovation that converge in a unique product. The first guide to the excellence of the Made in Italy, published by Mondadori Electa where Fendi tellsthe history of handmade in Italy: each entry is associated to the names and places of the craftsmen and their stories.
F. Paul Pacult, defined by Forbes “America’s foremost expert on distilled spirits”, selects Grappa Nonino Cru Monovitigno® Picolit among the five extraordinary distillates in the “Hall of Fame” of the prestigious quarterly Spirit Journal. Grappa Nonino is the only grappa in the most prestigious pantheon of distilled spirits in the world, which rises above ratings and reviews as a reference point of excellence for its category in all the years to come.
June - November 2011
Grappa Nonino will be the protagonist of FOS’s work of Art in the Danish Pavilion at the 54 International Art Exhibition La Biennale of Venice. Katerina Gregos, the curator of the Danish Pavilion has selected a group of artists that will develop their works on the theme “Speech Matters”, object the freedom of expression. FOS’s Osloo will be part of this program and he has chosen Grappa Nonino as a part of his work because grappa, with its distillation process, is a perfect metaphor for FOS’s artistic approach as it metaphorically represents the social situations that they want to create on Osloo.
September - October 2011
The Nonino Collection ÙE® Cru Monovitigno® Picolit has been selected in order to represent the excellence of distillation in the exhibition OLC25 Options of Luxury by Italo Rota at the Triennale of Milano. Together with the Nonino Collection the most prestigious brands of international luxury: Gucci, Salvatore Ferragamo, Giorgio Armani, Ferrari, Montblanc, Chanel, Tiffany, Roger Vivier and many others. Next exhibition venues: New York, Seoul, Shanghai.
F. Paul Pacult, defined by Forbes “America’s foremost expert on distilled spirits”, reconfirms Grappa Nonino Cru Monovitigno® Picolit among the extraordinary Distillates of the world in the “Hall of Fame” of the prestigious quarterly Spirit Journal.
July 16, 2012
Rai 5, the Italian radio and television company dedicates a documentary to the Nonino Family and Grappa: Dynasties “Stories, tales and events of who has made Italy great” to tell of a part of Italy that has breathed history and has been part of it creating something innovative, a symbol of the Made in Italy also abroad.
Forty years ago the Noninos created Grappa Monovitigno® and turned it from Cinderella into a Queen of distillates! The distillation of the pomace from a single vine is the Nonino revolution in the way of producing and introducing Grappa in Italy and in the World!
Grappa Nonino Cru Monovitigno® Picolit gets 99 out of 100 and turns out the best Grappa with the top score which overcomes all Grappas, even Aged and Reserve in the ranking of falstaff, the influential Austrian magazine of lifestyle and enogastronomy for experts and connoisseurs!
Thirty years of ÙE® Grape Distillate, created by Giannola and Benito Nonino.
Grappa Nonino is taken as an example and icon of artisanal Grappa in “How It’s Made”, the famous documentary broadcast on the American network of Discovery Channel, the thematic channel that satisfies all sorts of curiosities.
Harrods, the icon of Luxury in the world celebrates the theme “Stealing Beauty” capturing beauty. The Legendary Grappa Nonino is made an object of desire in the impressive London window dedicated to the most precious destillates in the world. Grappa Nonino embodies the expression of Italian excellence in the invitation to a sensory experience impossible to resist to.
Grappa Nonino Cru Monovitigno® Picolit is reconfirmed once more the only Grappa present in the list of the top world distillates, in the “HALL OF FAME” of the prestigious quarterly SPIRIT JOURNAL.
Grappa Nonino is ready to take off with Alitalia: the representative in the world of the Italian excellence in the production of Grappa and Distillates and in the Culture of Distillation, the Nonino is selected together with some of the greatest Italian brands, like Diego Dalla Palma, Ferrari, Frau and Lavazza, to represent the maximum expression of the Made in Italy in the skies of the whole world.
1897 – 2017: from Orazio to Benito, from Benito to Cristina, Antonella and Elisabetta. The celebrations for the 120 years of Distillation with artisanal method open.
The story of a Passion handed down from father to daughter.
Düsseldorf, Germany: the 13th edition of the Meininger Award awarded the coveted prize to the Noninos for “repeatedly providing breakthrough innovations in the grappa market and consolidating its position as a pioneer of quality”. Giannola Nonino received the prize, together with Antonella, Elisabetta and Francesca, Cristina’s daughter. It is the first time this prize is awarded to Grappa.
Read the Nonino Press Release