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According to an unlikely hypothesis, the spirit obtained from marc was allegedly produced in Italy as early as the 5th century. However, there is documentary evidence that it was produced and exported to many countries in the 15th century. This makes grappa one of the oldest distillates alongside Armagnac and Cognac. During the First World War (1914-1918), grappa was distributed to soldiers in Italy to boost morale and became an almost heroically glorified national drink after the costly Isonzo battles. In 1989, at the instigation of the Italian government, an EU regulation stipulated that the name "grappa" could only be used for grape marc spirits produced in Italy. Finally, in 2002, the Italian-speaking regions of Switzerland were also authorised to use this name. Various producers get round this by using fantasy names such as Grapillon Grapin, Grappina, Grappinot, Grappo and Grappolo.

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Sigi Hiss
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