World-renowned for the tradition and historicity of its production, Vermouth di Torino is an aromatized wine born in the 18th century at the foot of the Alps and enjoyed at the court of the Savoy kings. Vermouth di Torino is known worldwide for the tradition and history of production. The fame of Vermouth di Torino PGI is inextricably linked to Piedmont producers and Turin. In the 1800s, Turin was home to the aristocracy of vermouth makers, thanks to whom, in different ways and to different degrees, Vermouth di Torino achieved international standing and became appreciated worldwide. Over the years,techniques and processes have evolved: new ideas went hand in hand with the older practices, and they continue to coexist today, preserving and valorizing Vermouth di Torino's traditional production.
Vermouth di Torino is classified according to the color (White, Amber, Rosé or Red) and the amount of sugar used in its preparation. It can be, therefore, extra secco or extra dry for products containing less than 30 grams of sugar per litre, secco o dry for vermouth with less than 50 grams per litre, and sweet for those with a sugar content of 130 grams or more per litre. The disciplinary that protects the Vermouth of Turin provides also the typology Vermouth Superiore which refers to products with an alcoholic strength of not less than 17% vol., made with at least 50% of Piedmontese wines and flavoured with herbs - other than wormwood - cultivated or harvested in Piedmont.
Vermouth which owes its name to the German term Wermut defining the plantArtemisia Absinthiumhas ancient roots. In fact, a recipe for vinum absinthites, made with herbs, appears in manuscripts dating back to the first centuries A.D. when it was touted as a remedy for stomach and intestinal problemsIts medicinal use continued in subsequent centuries, and, as the Renaissance began, the greater availability of Oriental spices throughout Europe led to the recipe's enrichment with new aromatics, like cinnamon, cloves and rhubarb.Starting in the mid-fifteenth century, Piedmont producers acquired a reputation for making finedistillates distillates, and by the eighteenth century, Torino's liquors were widely celebrated. It was there that the Vermouth di Torino we know today began its evolution from medicinal tonic to popular aperitif in the same period that the city began to see the opening of distilleries, liquor shops and apothecaries'. In 1736 the pharmaceutical codex "Pharmacopea Taurinensis" describes Vinum Absinthites, composed of wormwood blooms and roots of the sweet flag (Acorus calamus).Turin liquor producers and confectioners were registered with the Turin University of Liquorists and Confectioners, a confraternity of artisans and craftsmen that brought together all the producers of the new liquors, who would make Piedmont's enviable reputation in the sector in years to come. They created the new recipes of aromatized wine and bottled the first Vermouth di Torino, a sweet, balsamic, alcoholic and long-lasting beverage.
The new beverage began to be appreciated outside of Turin as well, but full-blown success came only in the mid-nineteenth century, when it was first exported, first to France and Spain and then outside Europe, mainly to Latin America, where there were numerous communities of Italian migrants from Piedmont, and the United States , where it was immediately ushered into the cocktail culture. In the middle of the century there were 42 companies selling distillates and 30 liqueur producers in Turin, who added luster and prestige to the then capital of the Kingdom. The first advertisement for the new vermouth made in Turin, dates back to 1833 and describes the beverage as different from all the others, dubbing it "the genuine balsamic wine known as Vermouth di Torino". From then on, it was generally acknowledged that the Savoy's capital city had developed a different style, sweeter and more aromatic. In the first years of the twentieth century, "white Vermouth"made its debut, with a lighter hue and more floral and citrus notes : a hit with women at cafés, it earned the nickname of "ladies' delight"and marked a genuine market revolution. The twenties saw the rise in popularity of "red Vermouth", with the addition of caramel coloring, a nod to the American market.
The first step in Italian legislative regulation of vermouth came with Royal Decree Law no. 1696 of 9 November 1933, which provided general guidance on how to characterize the product (minimum alcohol content, sugar content, percentage of volume in original wine vs.substances added). The first EU regulation to designate the production areas for aromatized wines was EC Regulation no. 1601 of 10 June 1991, which for the first time recognized and protected Vermouth of Torino.
A fundamental necessity for making Vermouth di Torino is high quality wine: white or red, it must have good structure and acidity in order to blend with the spices and balance the sugar. After selecting a base alcohol, the extracts of aromatic herbs and spices, flowers, seeds, roots and barkare added, following infusion in a solution of alcohol and water for 15-20 days. They are mixed with the sugar and wine and left to rest in maturation tanks. The beverage is then filtered and bottled.