Piero, tell us about your Company Argalà.
Argalà was officially born in 2011, but my partner Enrico and I started ten years ago, for fun, producing the first Italian artisanal Pastis (which is not an Amaro, but you can approach it for the digestive properties of alpine herbs contained in it). In 2015 we decided to restore a former stable to create a larger liquor factory, and new products have come to life, all closely linked to our territory, with herbs and botanicals coming from organic farms in our area, from last spring we started planting medicinal plants to be used in production in front of the distillery. At the moment our product portfolio includes the artisanal Mountain Herbs Pastis, the artisanal Genepy Gin, the artisanal Genzianella Bitter and, our latest creation, the artisanal Amaro Alpino.
Your artisanal Amaro Alpino and your artisanal Bitter are therefore a visiting card of your territory, can you tell us a little more about these two products?
Our artisanal Bitter arrived before the artisanal Amaro Alpino and the story behind it is very funny. In 2016, for my brother-in-law's bachelor party, we were on the mountain behind our liquor factory. It was late spring and there was a very nice flowering of Genzianella. Enrico and I, curious to taste a bit of everything, we tasted the fresh flower of Genzianella and to take away the bitter taste of the flower we drank a homemade energy drink prepared with hibiscus flowers and sugar and we said: "it’s red, it has a bitter taste, we have the Bitter! ". Then we have done several experiments in our liquor factory and we have found the definitive recipe of our Artisanal Genzianella Bitter. The artisanal Amaro Alpino, instead, is our new entry, a product on which we worked a lot because we really wanted the mountain taste in our Amaro, but we also wanted a product that was easy to understand and that everyone could drink. The main botanicals present in our artisanal Amaro Alpino are pine needles, lavender, elderflowers and orange peel.
Your is not classic packaging, it's a new idea, where does it come from?
The packaging is born a bit by chance! I designed the first label of the Pastis myself by placing the word Argalà (which in our dialect means "very satisfied") vertically flanked by a star that symbolized the star anise, but more than a star looked like a dog and so now we kept the dog!
In these years, where did you arrive in the world with distribution?
At the moment, in addition to the distribution in Italy, we are present in France, Germany, Denmark, Australia, United Kingdom and United States.
Argalà aims to be behind the bars counters of all over the world, in Italy if a bartender wanted to buy Argalà who should be addressed?
First of all, we invite bartenders to visit us in our liquor factory in Boves in the province of Cuneo, which is the thing that Enrico and I appreciate most because tasting the products in our liquor factory for us is much easier to tell and explain how the production takes place and how the link with our territory is born. In Italy, at the moment, Velier distributes us.
What would you say to an Italian beverage professional to use the Amaro and Bitter Argalà in the right way?
The thing that I want to emphasize is that Argalà has a strong identity and is also felt in the mixing. I recommend our products in the preparation of cocktails because they have unique alpine scents and can be the element that helps differentiate!
What are Argalà's next goals?
Being 60 km from the Langhe, a very important area for the production of wine, we started, with a group of Cocktail Bars in Paris, including Little Red Door, a production of Vermouth which will be called Baldoria.