Join Wine Paths on a tasting adventure in Italy and experience the nation’s iconic flavored wines that have been enjoyed for over a century. We combine the elegance of vermouth with incredible history and culture as well as gastronomy for a holiday to remember.
Italy is a country known for its high culture and rich history. From its ancient capital, the “Cradle of Civilization” to the rolling vineyards of Tuscany to the glamorous Italian Lakes, it’s a destination that appeals to the most discerning of travelers. But one of the things that often slips under the radar is the country’s quality vermouth. Those in the know recognize its complexity, but for the most part, fortified and aromatized wines are gravely misunderstood by the masses.
Our insightful tours will journey you to the home of vermouth – and the globally recognized brand, Martini – for an exclusive insider look at how it is made, and how it should be enjoyed. By combining cultured activities, sightseeing and culinary gems, we invite you to join us on our discovery of one of the staple drinks in modern history.
Much more than just a cocktail ingredient, vermouths are fantastic to enjoy straight up or on the rocks with a twist of lemon. They are filled with delightful surprises of herbal, botanical and infused flavors, and open up a whole new world of tasting beyond the wine and spirits we know.
Vermouth production happens primarily in Italy and France, but Italy is the official home of modern vermouth, with the first ever versions being produced in Turin during the mid-18th Century. It was traditionally used for medicinal purposes, similar to a lot of spirits that we enjoy today, but was later recognized as a popular aperitif and was served in fashionable cafes around the clock.
Although often enjoyed like a spirit, vermouth is a fortified wine that is spiked with brandy and aromatized with herbs and botanicals. And one of the most famous brands to do this in Italy is Martini, starting production in 1863 and creating a vermouth that is loved around the globe.
Martini is still very much an Italian favorite today and our luxury tours will take you to some of the most exclusive tasting spots to enjoy a variety of different Martini styles, with educational tours to understand more about the brand and its history with blending. While Italian vermouth has historically fallen under two categories – sweet or dry – today’s range is much more diverse, and brands like Martini have created modern interpretations of a classic to appeal to new drinkers.
From its many chic cafes and elegant bars to tasting museums such as Casa Martini, Italy stands out as a must-visit destination for anyone who wants to learn more. Meet the Master Blenders and cocktail experts, and get advice on how best to sample your favorite style. Whether you love sweet and fruity or extra dry, our guides will ensure that you have all the knowledge to have a fun yet educational tour.
Every region in Italy has its own unique charm. From romantic Tuscany to the off-the-beaten-path beaches of Puglia, it’s impossible to have a bad time in this wonderful country. But if you’re here for the vermouth, there is only one place to be – and that’s the sophisticated region of Piedmont.
This region sits at the foot of the Alps and is known for its refined gastronomy, world class wines (such as Barolo), and its abundant baroque architecture. In the capital city, Turin, is the home of the Martini brand, and there are many opportunities for tastings here. Known as Italy’s aperitivo capital, you’ll find a great Martini range in every bar or café.
As well as the incredible food, wine and vermouth, Turin is also home to some of the region’s most remarkable landmarks, as well as some of the best museums in the region.
The best times to visit Italy are between April to June and from mid-September to October. During these shoulder months, the temperatures are comfortable and the crowds aren’t as intense. In the summer months, it can be very hot in some regions, making it hard for sightseeing on foot.
In the northern regions, including Piedmont, temperatures are slightly cooler compared to central and southern Italy. In Turin, bars and cafes also serve vermouth all year round, so there are plenty of opportunities to taste.
Casa Martini is open seven days a week and is open throughout the year, usually closing for the Christmas and New Year period.
The Martini family began making sweet vermouth in Pessione. Today, the company is owned by Bacardi and is headquartered in Turin. As well as making its world-class vermouth, the brand also blends sparkling wines such as Asti and Prosecco.
Some of the brand’s most recent creations are in the Riserva Speciale category. This range features a new generation of vermouth, taking traditional methods and reformulating them in a contemporary way. Using a secret blend, the Master Blenders combine carefully selected wines with rare botanicals to design a modern expression of the traditional drink.
What are the different ways to drink Martini in Italy?
Martini can be enjoyed in a variety of cocktails, mixed with tonic, or straight up. If you want to enhance the flavors and train your nose, we recommend trying it on the rocks with a twist of citrus to bring out the botanicals.
What grape varietals are used to make Italian vermouth?
Grapes such as Clairette blanche, Piquepoul, Bianchetta Trevigiana, Catarratto and Trebbiano are often used to get a low-alcohol wine for the vermouth base. The grapes are grown in regions such as Sicily and Emilia-Romagna.
How does Italian vermouth compare to French vermouth?
Typically, French vermouth is less sweet. It also exhibits a slightly more bitter profile, which is created with ingredients like nutmeg or bitter orange peel. However, there are many styles of Italian Martini that may share flavor similarities.
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