It was around 1920 after the 1st World War when Peter, an employee of Ugolino’s father emigrated to America. Those were the days of “prohibition” when the trade of alcohol distillation is concerned. After spending twelve years in America, Peter returned to Costigliole d’Asti having mastered the skills of distillation. He called Ugolino and taught him the skills. He lamented Amercia lacks good raw material but in Italy such materials is plentiful – who knows what can be achieved in this area full of wines ! Ugolino was fiscinated and later bought a water mill in disuse (and hence the name Vieux Molin – it’s in French because in those days it’s trendy to be associated with anything French) and using the water and a old locomotive, they started the “Mussi-Milan” system a first at that time and then went on to distilling using the “vacumm” method. Then came WWII and Ugolino went off to war but returned to the business of distillation in 1943 and joined hands with his brother Alberto. Ugolino died in 1971 and now distilleria is in hands of the 3rd generation. Youth Group AssoDistil is a grouping of small and medium-sized companies, about 150 throughout Italy, mostly family-run, deeply tied to the territory of origin, with a close relationship with the local culture, few others can boast homegrown productions like them. AssoDistil has appointed Elena Borra as it‘s President, owner of the distillery Vieux Moulin, one of the most representative of the Piedmont wine trade. Elena studied at the School of Wine in Alba and then start working on the farm. Today her signature can be seen on every bottle her grappa – a guarantee of genuine high quality and honest product. Vieux Moulin is a busy distillery, especially in Autumn. They produce various kinds of grappa in at least another 100 different types of bottles. It is all pretty over-whelming really, but the real gem is their very special “Reserva” 47% in the squat little bottle with the hand-written label and the big price tag. For 20 years this grappa has waited patiently in the keeping rooms and I have to say, the result is worth waiting for.