A world-renowned producer of vermouth and Italian sparkling wines, Martini & Rossi lends its rich history and award-winning quality to the Bacardi family of spirits. MARTINI vermouth comprises the superb flavors and aromas of more than 40 botanicals in recipes dating back over 150 years, and the brand’s sparkling wines hail from the golden hills of some 300 growers of Moscato Bianco grapes.
Since the company’s inception in Turin, Italy in 1863, Martini & Rossi has grown to become a symbol of sophistication and classic Italian style. The brand’s rich heritage is on display for all to see at the Martini Visitor Center in the village of Pessione, located just 20 kilometers to the southwest of the birthplace of MARTINI. Casa Martini pays homage to the origins of Martini & Rossi while serving as a modern production facility, bringing together the past and future in a center of history and culture.
As one of several Bacardi Group visitor museums in locations from Sitges, Spain to Hampshire, England, the Martini Visitor Center has served as the Bacardi Group’s Italian heritage center since first opening its doors in 2008. In 2013, the venue underwent significant renovations in honor of its 150th anniversary. Today, it features a variety of exhibits and attractions that aim to transport visitors to the birth of the iconic brand while introducing them to the delicate art of winemaking. The following are just some of the reasons to visit the center.
Trace the History of Martini & Rossi
Casa Martini is housed within a 19th century mansion reflecting all the charm of the Italian countryside. Guests can explore the storied history of Martini & Rossi — and how the brand became a globally recognized symbol of Italian culture — at the center’s Galleria Mondo Martini, home of the brand’s historical archive. The gallery tells the Martini story via a collection of several hundred artifacts and documents, including materials from the company’s numerous promotional initiatives.
The extensive collection includes memorabilia from Martini & Rossi’s artist-commissioned posters, commercials, athletic sponsorships, and contributions to the areas of music and literature, each detailing the publicity efforts that helped to develop the company into a globally prominent brand. Galleria Mondo Martini pairs these items with engaging multimedia displays to create an interactive exploration of the brand’s inception and development.
The brand’s history dates back to 1863, when skilled salesman and entrepreneur Alessandro Martini joined forces with expert herbalist and liqueur mastermind Luigi Rossi. Supported by their trustworthy accountant, Teofilo Sola, the partners built their brand on the motto “Volere é Potere” — “Where there’s a will there’s a way” — and this guiding phrase is immortalized at the entrance to Casa Martini.
Delve into Historical Enology
The Martini History of Winemaking Museum is one of the world’s preeminent collections of enological history. Located in a rustic yet elegant brick cellar, the museum encompasses 16 rooms displaying over 600 artifacts ranging in age from the 7th century BC to modern times. These objects, which reflect over 2000 years of winemaking history, include wooden grape presses dating back several centuries as well as ancient glassware and pottery from the Greco-Roman world.
In the Martini Experience Room, visitors have a hands-on opportunity to explore the brand’s own contributions to enology. The exhibit offers a multi-sensory experience of the natural ingredients that comprise Martini products, including herbs, flowers, fruits, roots, and spices. Guided by staff members, guests view short films about how these ingredients come together to create Martini’s beloved beverages and also have the opportunity to see, smell, and touch these essential aromatics.
Become a Trained Mixologist
After becoming well-versed in the history of Martini & Rossi and winemaking as a whole, visitors can head to the Martini Bar Academy, where Martini Ambassadors and Bartenders offer a crash course on crafting delicious cocktails and creating the “perfect serve.”
In addition to learning how to make iconic Martini cocktails, guests can also take part in the “Make Your Own Vermouth” class, in which they embark on an in-depth exploration into the production of Italian vermouth and its cultural significance in the Piedmont region. Students learn how to prepare and combine a variety of extracts and distillates, and can even try their hands at blending aromatics to create their very own vermouth.
Shop, Work, or Unwind
Casa Martini is far more than a museum, offering both retail spaces and areas for social gatherings. The Casa Martini Terrazza comprises three elegant rooms, including a conference room and the Sala Camino (Fireplace Room), which guests may rent to host their next business meeting, group work session, or celebration. The Terrazza’s Wi-Fi connectivity and multimedia equipment make it an ideal setting for work or play, while its plush sofas, ornate carpeting, and refined hardwood furniture create an ambience of comfort and elegance.
Naturally, Casa Martini is also the perfect place to enjoy a drink. Guests can sip the brand’s beverages in the Casa Martini Lounge, and should they find themselves wanting to bring products home, they can pay a visit to the Martini Store and Bookshop. The Casa Martini store offers a complete selection of Martini & Rossi products, as well as memorabilia and souvenirs from both Martini and Martini Racing. Many of the collectibles featured here are not available anywhere else in the world.
-Featured image Martini & Rossi visitor center Sitges, Spain – Image courtesy WikiCommons