Tsipouro is a pure grape distillate (pomace brandy) that is traditionally produced after the end of the harvest. One may come across different names for this classic spirit depending on the region of its origin (tsipouro, tsikoudia etc); at the same time, two versions are available: one with natural flavor (dominated by the grape varietal aromas) and a flavored one with the addition of anise.
The Tsantali family has been producing Tsipouro for over 125 years using aromatic white and red varieries – mostly autochtonous like Assyrtiko, Athiri, Roditis and Xinomavro- grown in selected vineyards of the Macedonian land in Northern Greece. In order to safequard the highest quality of the spirit, all the stages of the process take place under controlled conditions as provided by for relevant legislation aiming at the safety of the consumer and the clear identification of the product.
How is tsipouro made?
The raw material for Tsipouro is healthy, high quality and well ripened aromatic grapes which are hand-harvested, destemmed and vinified in stainless steel tanks under controlled conditions in terms of temperature and environment. When the fermentation is completed, free-run wine is collected separately, while pomace (the grape skins) is transported into stainless steel tanks and stored under airtight conditions at low temperature until distillation. These factors are crucial in order for the pomace to maintain its aromatic character and quality properties that will be infused into the spirit to be produced.
Distillation follows in small, discontinuous, copper-inox pot stills with steam. Pomace is distilled slowly and patiently at controlled low temperatures through a system of multiple plates.
In each distillation we have 3 fractions:
- The heads
- The heart (the good part that we keep)
- The tails
For the tsipouro, we keep only the “heart of the distillate“, which is free of harmful substances and maintains at the same time the finest straightforward aromas, a full body and a velvety taste. In the case of tsipouro with anise, distillation takes place in the presence of Greek fennel, which flavors the distillate with sweet spicy notes.
After distillation, the distillate is diluted with demineralized water reducing the alcoholic strength to
- 42% abv in the case of Tsipouro with anise
- 38% abv in the case of Tsipouro without anise
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