March 2012

Setting the Gold Standard

story and photo by David Ransom

Recently, the ever-energetic Sandro Bottega, driving force behind Bottega wines and liqueurs and Alexander grappa, held a tasting in New York City to show off his superlative portfolio. The results provided conclusive evidence that Bottega’s product line is uniquely positioned at the top of the list in both quality and style.
Sandro Bottega with his portfolio.


“There are three fundamental principles I hold dear,” he explains: “Creativity, quality and flavor are inextricably linked; discovery is a never-ending process; and imaginative presentation is essential.” To that end, Bottega, whose outside interests include driving race cars, collecting modern art and playing guitar, oversees almost all facets of production, whether it’s when to pick the grapes for his DOC Prosecco (he harvests slightly earlier than normal to help retain the grapes’ level of acidity) to when he bottles it (most producers bottle as necessary throughout the year; Bottega bottles only once a year, though it’s not vintage dated).

He also designs the hand-blown Venetian glass bottles for his Alexander grappa line, a slightly less alcoholic grappa than most, at 40% ABV. Modern, approachable and deliciously appealing, Alexander grappa is made in both varietal versions, such as Grappa di Moscato and Grappa di Cabernet, as well as a blended version; the latter is the base for his line of Bottega liqueurs, including Limoncino (a branded limoncello), Sambuca and Gianduia, a creamy smooth chocolate-hazelnut liqueur.

A global producer, Bottega’s line is found in 80 countries, and his grappa exports alone account for over 40% of all grappa exports in Italy. Yet, even with this volume—eight million bottles in 2011, 35% of which is his Venetian Gold Prosecco, easily identifiable in its stunning gold-wrapped bottle—Bottega still maintains a level of quality in his entire line that reflects meticulous small production.  

Bottega wines and liqueurs and Alexander grappas are available through Palm Bay International.

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