A colorless, high alcohol Italian eau de vie distilled from the residue (grape skins and seeds) left in the wine press after the juice is removed for wine. Grappa has been made commercially since the 18th century. There are hundreds of highly individual, markedly different styles of this fiery distillation, which can also have great depth and character. There are also aged grappas, some so complex that they're aged in a series of different woods (such as oak, birch and juniper).
From The Food Lover's Companion, Fourth edition by Sharon Tyler Herbst and Ron Herbst. Copyright © 2007, 2001, 1995, 1990 by Barron's Educational Series, Inc.