Produced according to our own traditional method, Robertini vermouth is processed with the utmost care in order to obtain a product with its own identity.

The history of vermouth

Many things have been said about vermouth. Its origins go back to the beginnings of civilization. Egypt, Greece and Rome have used this drink for medicinal purposes. The ancient Egyptians were among the first peoples to fortify it to stabilise it in hot weather, while the ancient Greeks and Romans would add wormwood, thyme, rosemary and myrtle to it in order to revive the vermouths which had lost their taste.

vermouth

The first references to it are in the Fourth Book of the Odyssey, when Helen offers Menelaus, her husband, a type of cocktail made from Egyptian herbs. The Romans used to drink Artemisia Absinthium (Artemisia wormwood) during the summer because of its pleasant and enveloping flavour. This idea of blending wines with aromatic vegetable substances continued during the Middle Ages, also for medicinal purposes. More than two centuries ago, vermouth production began to increase and the Italians developed new blends.

Behind vermouth is the old tradition of fortifying and adding aroma to wines. But if the reasons for these processes were merely practical ones, vermouth has elevated them to speciality processes. At the start of the 16th Century, in the European monastic communities, the consumption of Aperitifs continued to have benefits, since they were used as an elixir for protecting one’s health and lengthening one’s life.

In the Royal Bavarian Court (today Germany), these wines were called wermut, “wormwood” in German, which was one of the key ingredients. Later, and when it was fashionable among the French court, the word became “vermouth”. During the final decades of the 18th Century there was a very popular trend in Europe for creating new and different Aperitifs, aiming towards the most unusual blends of wines, alcohols, herbs and other ingredients. This phenomenon spanned the centre of Europe: Southern Germany, Switzerland, Austria and Northern Italy.

Over time, its composition changed, and Northern Europe became the production centre of excellence due to its distillation capacities and the vineyards which offered their land. Therefore, although the word is German and it was created for that era, all the current registers state that the first vermouths were patented in Turin and Milan, which became the home of this drink and in the 18th Century became the place where a civilized society´s art and culture joined. Their pioneers were master distillers in Turin, who specialised in herbs and applied this knowledge to the drinks that they prepared.

In the first half of the 19th Century, a group of Piedmont wine entrepreneurs began industrial scale production of wine products aimed at conquering the international market. They started to become part of literature, myth and the collective imagination since their drinks evoked exotic places, memorable encounters, and secret and public toasts.

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