Castello Banfi has just introduced its Aqua Vitae, a distillate of whole Moscato grapes, that provides a soft alternative to grappa as a cordial or a digestive. Made from 100% Moscato grapes, Aqua Vitae, Italian for “water of life,” is crystal clear in color. It offers aromas of peach complemented by almond notes. Slightly unctuous on the palate, its distinctive flavors are reminiscent of dried fruit with some hints of toast. The finish is smooth and long. Aqua Vitae is distilled from fragrant whole Moscato grapes, unlike grappa which is made only from the pressed grape skins, stems and seeds. The hand-picked grapes are soft pressed and fermented using select yeast and temperature control. This special, discontinous distillation under vacuum, at low temperature, yields an exquisite bouquet of aromas in a delicate balance that gives our Aqua Vitae its unique character. The alcohol content is 40% or 80 proof. Packaged in an elegantly sculpted, frosted and clear glass “tower bottle,” similar to Castello Banfi Grappa, with a gold capsule, it will be distributed nationally and retail for around $40.00 for a 750ml size bottle. Founded by U.S. wine merchants John and Harry Mariani of Banfi Vintners in 1978, Castello Banfi has been named the unprecedented four-time “International Winery of the Year” and eleven-time “Italian Winery of The Year” at VinItaly’s annual International Enological Concourse.