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Francoli Distillery - A carbon neutral distillery

The Opal Nera brand is a product of the Francoli distillery, one of Italy’s most respected Spirits and Wines producers. Francoli  was founded in 1951 by Luigi Francoli, whose family had for generations practiced the art of Grappa distillation. The plant where Opal Nera is produced is in Ghemme, a small country town in Piemonte, in the north west of Italy, near lake Maggiore and the Alps. The only carbon neutral Grappa distillery in the world. All the energy required by the plant’s production process is obtained from burning the dried “vinaccia” (grape pomace).


Opal Nera - The Original

Opal Nera was created by Alessandro Francoli and launched in 1989 . It was the first Black Sambuca - but imitated by many other producers. Opal Nera, is created by the infusion of ten different components. It contains distillates of lemon peel, coriander seeds, green anise and star anise, as well as infusions of Elderberries from Piemonte in Italy, cinnamon, cloves and other natural ingredients.

All these ingredients are infused or distilled and they assure the perfect balance and the smoothness of Opal Nera. Elderberry juice plays a relevant role in obtaining rich and unique deep purple colour. The water used during the production process is sourced from a well fed by a spring located beneath local hills which are of glacial origin.

The nose is elegant and well balanced. The delicate aroma from the many components smoothen the intensity of the anise.  The taste of Opal Nera is reminiscent of anise and liquorice, of black jellybeans and lemon zest . The distillate of lemon peel adds freshness to the flavour and makes the taste unique.

A simple test to verify the quality of a black sambuca consists in adding water: If the Black. Sambuca is made from high quality ingredients it will not turn cloudy or lose its distinctive black colouring when water is added.


Opal Nera is created using the following process



- Star Anise seeds from China
- Green Anise seeds from Italy
- Elder flowers from Piemonte
- Orange flowers from Sicily - Lemon peel from Sicily



Other natural components are obtained by infusion, among which:

 -Coriander seeds from Morocco
- Cinnamon from Sri Lanka
- Cloves from Madagascar
- Elderberries from Piemonte