“My grandmother Iole, with whom I spent many summers when I was in my pre-teens, had me dip my finger in the vermouth which she drank and appreciated. On summer afternoons, after the household chores, grandma would play cards with her friends, and I secretly did my ‘sampling’”.
Vermouth was just a pleasant memory until 2014, when a wine and spirits distributor from San Francisco (CA) asked if he could purchase a vermouth. Vittorio Zoppi then started on a course of study and research which, two years later, led to him bottling Antica Torino Vermouth. Vittorio has been working for twenty years in constructing and managing sales networks in North America for wine and liqueur producing firms. Filippo Antonelli joined the venture a few months afterwards.
“As a child, in late summer I would stay at my grandmother Elena’s house in Colleretto Giacosa, in the Canavese area of Piedmont. I used to spend a lot of time with her cook, Giovanni; I used to follow his recipes and we would go mushrooming together. Every evening before dinner, my grandmother had a whisky and soda in the sitting room, while Giovanni drank a glass of vermouth in the kitchen. I much preferred Giovanni’s drink because of the sweet flavour balanced by the bitterish notes! In subsequent years I only drank it mixed in cocktails, but thanks to Vittorio’s influence, I’ve returned to the pleasure of straight vermouth”.
Filippo’s mother is from the Canavese, an area closely involved in the history of vermouth. Filippo’s great-great-grandfather was Giuseppe Giacosa, Puccini’s librettist, which makes Filippo’s connection with Piedmont even stronger. Filippo Antonelli directs his family’s two wine-producing businesses, Antonelli San Marco in Umbria, and Castello di Torre in Pietra near Rome, famous throughout the world for the quality of their products; a graduate in Agricultural Sciences from Perugia University, he exports his wines all over the world.