Chinato, an Italian fortified wine, was the brainchild of chemist Mauro Vergano in 18th century Piedmont. This expression of the style is made from white wine infused with quinine, wormwood and orange peel, among other botanicals. It's a sweet and lively aperitif.
|Wine maker notes
|This was my first creation. The wine I use is a Nebbiolo from Barbaresco that comes from the Rabaja hill. It is produced by Giuseppe Cortese’s winery in Barbaresco; this is a small-scale producer who, in my opinion, produces excellent quality wine even if it is not organic. I usually use a two-year-old wine since I want the final product to retain that fresh “winey-ness”. The extract is the result of a complex mixture of aromatizing substances. Besides China in its Calisaya and Succirubra varieties, there are particularly bitter ingredients like Chinese Rabarbaro and Ginseng, while the aromatic component comes from spices and herbs like cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, coriander, bay leaf, etc.
What makes this wine characteristic is the extreme persistence of its aroma due to its perfectly balanced ratio between sugar, alcohol and aromatic extract content.
|After earning a degree in chemistry, Mauro Vergano studied oenology and viticulture at one of Italy’s top schools. Soon after, he started working in the “flavors and fragrances” sector of a company full-time as a chemist. In his 15 years there, Mauro spent extensive time mastering the equipment that produce fragrances, all the while training his nose to correctly identify aromatic blends.
In the late 70’s, Mauro channelled his combined interest in wine and aromatized fragrances by producing small batches of his own Chinato. For years it remained a hobby, but with the encouragement of his friends and family, the idea of turning his passion into a full time job started to grow on him. Three years after retiring, the first bottles of Chinato were ready for sale.
Pushing things forward, Mauro released the Luli in 2003, a Moscato based Chinato that remains the only one of its kind on the market. Next was the Americano, a twist on traditional vermouth; by using the relatively unknown grape Grignolino as the base wine, Mauro has created a light, untannic and aromatic delight. The most recent addition to the lineup is a Vermouth made in a more classic, Piedmontese style.
Mauro uses only the finest ingredients, and his cupboard is full of herbs and spices sourced locally but also from around the world. The same is true for the sourced wines: the Chinato is produced from Giuseppe Cortese’s Nebbiolo, the Luli from Vittorio Bera & Figli’s Moscato, the Americano from Cascina Tavijn’s Grigolino and the Vermouth from Cascina Degli Ulivi’s Cortese and the Bera’s Moscato.