The Origins

It all began in Zugliano, a small village in the Pedemontana Veneta, a foothill bucolic area located in the Vicenza province. A story of a man that went from innkeeper to distiller until 1895, the year that saw the Grappa Cavallina Bianca moving out from the basement in all its acclaimed glory. The name can be translated by “White Horse”, named after his best ride. The founder, Bortolo Zanin, was seeking a different name than “Spirito Bianco” –White Spirit – which he was serving his guests at the tavern. From a necessity to a virtue: is the idea behind the recovery of the pomace of its own vineyard. The fellow diners had more than the wine to quench their thirst and inebriate with at his inn.


1895 seen as the year of the turning point as Bortolo Zanin decided to legitimate the distillation. The inn was doing just fine but the requests for his grappa was growing, so with the support of his wife and relatives he managed to conduct both activities for many years, to the point when the passion for distillation prevailed above the innkeeper job.  It was in the 1940s, at the same time as his son Rino Zanin came to power, that the decision to close the tavern was taken to devote the entire time to the distillation and production of liqueurs. Growing product demands raised the necessity of a larger space, as the area previously dedicated to the inn was barely sufficient for their production needs. It was Rino that took on the job of expanding the distillery and the aging process, leading the Cavallina Bianca brand to greater fame. At the end of the 60s with the arrival of Fausto Zanin, Rino’s son, the family company gradually began an industrialization process modernizing the production facilities, but always keeping their customary high-quality standard. These strategic choices paid off in the market and above all in foreign ones, to the point that in the late 90s the products were spreading in 38 countries. It was the beginning of the expansion of the company that still carries out its internationalization today, marking the company as leader of the made in Italy excellence. 

The Beginning…

With his small hand-made copper alembic, after wearing his overcoat, Bortolo turned into a Master Distiller. It was cold in the basement but a little help from the warmth of the alembic and a little from the several tastes could warm him. He was very adamant that for his grappa he only wanted the best part, making his alchemical art increasingly popular with users, so that in 1895 he wanted to formalize it. This is not poetry but the story of a passion in a belief that still continues….

The handover

In the 40s Rino Zanin succeeded his father Bortolo. The White Horse- Cavallina Bianca- was created from his two passions, grappa and horses: Olga was his snow-colored mare. The sale expanded throughout the province of Vicenza until the arrival of his son Fausto who expanded the company across the border to 38 countries in the 1970s, and industrialized the production processes. At the end of the 90s the need to increase the production space arised and in 2003 the acquisition of the ex-Marini spinning-mill took place.


Now in its fourth generation, Zanin produces with the highest technological and quality standards such as ISO / IFS / BRC, maintaining the historical link with tradition and with the teachings of its predecessors. Four generations linked by a single passion held in each drop labeled Zanin 1895. As proof of its quality Zanin’s distillates and liqueurs have obtained over the years over 300 awards , both nationally and internationally.

The development and business growth over the last few years required the support of greater production spaces because the historical establishment of Via Roma could no longer provide, therefore  in 2014, the company moved its headquarters to Via Cinquevie in a factory, and a new path began. Today Zanin, in addition to having activated a sector dedicated to research and development at 360 degrees, is also very attentive to the environmental impact and CO2 emissions and in this regard Zanin prefers packaging materials obtained from recycled products. Its new plant is equipped with a photovoltaic plant for the production of energy from renewable sources that generates more electricity than that which is consumed annually by the company.

Current and with a look to the future, the company development continues towards the markets and within the spirit of the “Land of Venice”. To date Zanin exports its products to 55 countries scattered around the world consolidated as a Made in Italy excellency.

From history and contemporaneity we take the cues for our future TO BE CONTINUED….