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Country of Origin: Italy
Location: Torino, Piedmont
People: Bordiga Family, Owners | Riccardo Molinero, Manager | Mario Cerri, Master Distiller
From the sloping Piedmontese Alps comes Bordiga, a producer that has been crafting exceptional vermouth, amaro, and gin since the turn of the 19th century.
Bordiga’s roots begin in the town of Turin in 1888, where keen herbalist Pietro Bordiga began disrupting the local vermouth industry with his advanced knowledge of botanical flavorings and essential oils. Vermouth, an aromatized wine that has been infused with herbs and blended with a proportion of alcohol, had traditionally been made in-house by bartenders. The quality of Pietro’s was so good, however, that local bars and restaurants began buying from him. Pietro eventually moved south to the town of Cuneo, renovating an ancient distillery for his own production and reaping inspiration for new recipes from his travels.
Tradition lives on at the distillery more than 130 years later. The last surviving Bordiga, who is now 90 years old, has passed down the family’s leather bound books of recipes to master distiller Mario Cerri, who in turn has been preparing the young, extremely talented Nicola and Francesco to carry on the craft. The masterpiece of the distillery might be the 18th century copper still that Pietro initially discovered upon his move to Cuneo, which is still used to distill Bordiga’s Occitan Gin.
Bordiga sources many of their botanicals locally from the surrounding Piedmontese Alps, where the combination of altitude and maritime influence enriches the essential oils. This cultivation proves no easy feat as plants like juniper, Artemisia absinthium (wormwood) and Gentiana lutea (gentian root) grow wild in the mountains, which are some of the highest in Europe. The plants are collected by hand before being allowed to dry at altitude, which ultimately preserves the aromas.
Requirements for Authentic Vermouth di Torino:
1. The producer must be historic, which is to say must have been operating for at least 50 years (Bordiga has been in continuous operation since 1888)
2. The recipe or the brand must be historic (again, Bordiga Vermouth was first produced at the end of the 19th century)
3. Must be produced in an artisan manner
4. Must be produced in Piedmont
5. Must be based on Italian wine, have an alcohol content between 16% and 22%, and must use the botanical flavorings typical of the area like Artemisia (must be a main ingredient)
Bordiga is a founding member of the Vermouth di Torino Institute which defines the legal regulations under Law 1826.
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