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Cinzano is an Italianmarker brand of vermouth, a brand owned since 1999 by Gruppo Campari. It comes in four versions:
  • Cinzano Rosso, the original, which is amber-coloured with a "delicate yet persistent and characteristic aftertaste";
  • Cinzano Bianco, which is white and drier than Rosso, and a sweet vermouth served chilled and enjoyed straight as an apéritif or as an ingredient in a cocktail;
  • Cinzano Extra Dry, a delicately flavoured dry vermouth;
  • Cinzano Rosé, the newest of the four, rosy-coloured with orange highlights and a flavour of roses.


Cinzano vermouths date back to 1757 and the Turin herbal shop of two brothers, Giovanni Giacomo and Carlo Stefano Cinzano, who created a new "vermouth rosso" (red vermouth) using "aromatic plants from the Italian Alps in a [still-secret] recipe combining 35 ingredients (including marjoram, thyme and [a species of Achillea called] musk yarrow)". What became known as the "vermouth of Turin" proved popular with the bourgeoisie of Turin and, later, Casanova.

Cinzano Bianco followed, based on a different combination of herbs that included artemisia (wormwood), cinnamon, cloves, citrus and gentian; it was followed by an Extra Dry version.

Exports began in the 1890s, to Argentinamarker, Brazilmarker and the USAmarker, among others.

In Parismarker in 1912, Cinzano was the first product to be advertised with a neon sign.

Cinzano remained a family-run business until 1985. Beginning that year, the Marone family, Turin industrialists, began to sell shares in the business, culminating in 1992 with an agreement to turn Cinzano International S.A. entirely over to International Distillers andVintners Limited, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Grand Metropolitan. At the time of its sale, Cinzano's share of the vermouth market in Europe was measured in the low single digits, sales that placed it a distant second to Martini.

As a result of a 1997 merger, Grand Metropolitan became Diageo; two years later, Diageo sold Cinzano to the privately-held Gruppo Campari.

In popular culture

In the 1969 film The Secret of Santa Vittoria, the secret is where the villagers of Santa Vittoria hide their million bottles of wine which they sell to the Cinzano company.

The brand name was featured quite prominently in the 1979 movie Breaking Away.

Cinzano is involved in sponsoring many sporting and racing events, mainly the MotoGP series.

In the British television sitcom Red Dwarf the character Lister once refers to himself as "Dave 'Cinzano Bianco' Lister", in reference to his billiard-playing prowess. His claim that "once I was on the table, you couldn't get rid of me" is humorously derogatory of Cinzano's quality or appeal (in Lister's personal opinion and implied social circles).

During the 1970s Cinzano ran a series of television commercials in the United Kingdommarker featuring the Britishmarker actors Leonard Rossiter and Joan Collins. Although the adverts were popular and critically acclaimed, research showed consumers failed to fully recognise the product and that the campaign would also increase sales of arch rival Martini. In 2000, however, its 1979 "Airliner" advertisement was named the 11th best television commercial of all time, in a poll conducted by The Sunday Times and Channel 4.

In his 1961 book How to Cope With, humorist Merrill Pollack includes a footnote that reads: "Don't order a Cinzano in Philadelphiamarker. I did and the bartender asked me, 'How do you make it?'" (Op. cit., p. 70)

In Ernest Hemingway's The Sun Also Rises, a man uses a roller to paint "CINZANO" on a Paris sidewalk.


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