RIVO Gin’s founder Marco Rivolta teamed up with his mother in 2014 to create a gin that would encapsulate Lake Como’s magic in a bottle. His mother’s hobby of foraging and cultivating herbs was one of the triggers for their venture. The other was the beauty and unique essence of Lake Como. Lake Como offers an incredible botanical variety thanks to its position and the difference of altitudes. It is a blend of Mediterranean and Alpine climate.
It took Rivolta and his mother two years to launch RIVO Gin because they took the time to identify and create a bouquet that is uniquely RIVO’s. They tried and tasted many recipes, with the duo initially selecting 50 botanicals to work from. They whittled 50 down to 30, which they micro-distilled to trial and blend, before eventually settling on a list of just 12. They have built a personal and unique bouquet to bring Lake Como into a glass for people around the world.
Juniper, coriander, cardamom and angelica are joined by seven locally foraged ingredients, which Rivolta’s mum gathers along with a team of botanists. These include salad burnet, winter savory, lemon balm and Breckland thyme. The botanicals are harvested three times a year, when expert foragers trample for miles across the lake’s mountains. Once the foragers have found the right spots, they pick only the best botanicals by hand. This method of foraging takes a lot of time and skill, but is also a deeply satisfying labour of love.
RIVO Gin is distilled at the Italian Distilleria Quaglia, one of Italy’s oldest distilleries. Each botanical is distilled separately and to its best advantage. While the spices are left to macerate for 10 days in a 70% Italian grain alcohol, the freshly plucked botanicals are steeped for just 48 hours. The solutions are pressed and then distilled in a double-bottomed pot still. Each run takes a different length of time depending on the type of botanical and the quantity needed. Some can take up to 10 hours, while others take only 30 minutes. Finally, the distillates are married together and watered down to bottling strength of 43%.
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