And, most important – we would craft a wine that appeals to our modern tastes for authenticity and provenance, a wine for those who appreciate craft cocktails, slow foods, single-batch bourbons…. Wetmore died before Prohibition's repeal, but it was re-opened by his brother Clarence. cresta-blanca-vermouth. And by the time Cresta Blanca was sold to Guild Winery, the formula had vanished along with the vermouth, a ghost of another era. We probably will never know, but I have a theory. ‘New domestic brand from California. We would bring the entire production of our vermouth back to Livermore Valley. Any other products get edited out that you’ve seen? Clearly, the vermouth in Hemingway’s day must have been a better wine than what sits on the lower shelves of my grocery store. The name was then sold to the Guild Wine Company in 1965. Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email. And by the time Cresta Blanca was sold to Guild Winery, the formula had vanished along with the vermouth, a ghost of another era. There was a medium dry Martini with a piece of lemon peel waiting for him. Learn how your comment data is processed. We would use the finest wines from our cellar and use Livermore brandy distilled from our own fruit. In 1889, a white wine from Cresta Blanca won the Grand Prize at the Paris Exposition – the first time a California wine won a competition in France. By the mid-fifties when Fleming was writing, Cresta Blanca had moved vermouth production to its distilling plant near Fresno. But struggle as I might with these important themes, my mind kept wandering to the peculiar choice of drink Hemingway chose for his protagonist, Frederick Henry. Considering it is a key ingredient in the world’s most famous martini, surprisingly little is known about the composition of Cresta Blanca vermouth. Registration Date: 5/22/1957 It was excellent, but he didn’t recognize the Vermouth. What did Frederick Henry, or Hemingway for that matter, see in vermouth? Post navigation. It was excellent, but he didn’t recognize the Vermouth. My introduction to Hemingway was through his novel A Farewell to Arms. Livermore, CA It was probably through this publicity that Cresta Blanca vermouth caught Ian Fleming’s attention during one of his frequent trips to New York. The bottom line? This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Finally, the flavors of the spices were most likely extracted at high temperature in ethanol, and then back blended into the base wine. That’s odd. We can do better. “Best Vermouth I ever tasted.” Cresta Blanca was one of California’s most historic wineries, having been founded in 1882. Bond smiled at Leiter’s memory and tasted it. Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email. July 19, 2016 | Posted in Livermore Valley. Wormwood was reintroduced only in 2007 after a 95-year ban. The Olive or Onion Society had created the world’s best martini using the dry vermouth from Cresta Blanca Winery, and James Bond had picked up on this in Diamonds are Forever (http://bit.ly/29VkTc2). Occasio Winery Learn how your comment data is processed. 925-371-1987. Thus began my quest to recreate a Livermore vermouth, perhaps not as famous, but definitely better. In the US version, Leiter’s comment imply reads, “Domestic stuff.”. They also made a Vermouth, which was what Leiter ordered above. As for a release date? Cresta Blanca Winery was one of the original Livermore Valley wineries. The recipe was widely publicized, and even appeared in the New York Times. Subscribe to Blog via Email. ", The winery is registered as California Historical Landmark #586.. In 1889, a white wine from Cresta Blanca won the Grand Prize at the Paris Exposition – the first time a California wine won a competition in France. The winning recipe – 3 parts London Dry Gin, 1 part Cresta Blanca Triple-Dry White Vermouth, stirred, with a twist of lemon. Cresta Blanca Vermouth. “Made with Cresta Blanca,” explained Leiter. There, in chapter five, CIA agent Felix Leiter made James Bond his favorite martini, “There was a medium dry Martini with a piece of lemon peel waiting for him. The land remained fallow until it was purchased by the Wente family in 1981, and revitalized as the "Sparkling Cellars. The victory also assured the future of the California wine industry, which had fallen upon hard times. Cresta Blanca, for their part, used the award in advertising copy that appeared in the New Yorker.  Its first vintage, a dry white wine in 1884 won Grand Prize at the 1889 Paris Exposition, becoming the first California wine to win a competition in France. They apparently had created the world’s best martini using the dry vermouth from Livermore’s Cresta Blanca Winery, which James Bond enjoyed in Diamonds are Forever. Read it, he suggested, and tell me what you discover. We don’t know much about the original Cresta Blanca vermouth. “New domestic brand from California. The Cresta Blanca wine he made from its fruit won for California the first International Award, the highest honor at the 1889 Paris Exposition, first bringing assurance to California wine growers that they could grow wines comparable to the finest in the world. The winery was purchased by Schenley Distillers in 1941, and closed in 1965. The site is now a historical landmark. With the victory, the future of the wine industry in the state looked much stronger. It was founded by Charles Wetmore in 1882 with cuttings of Sauvignon blanc from Chateau d'Yquem and other top Bordeaux properties. From our artist’s palette of roots, herbs, and spices we have formulated the first Livermore dry vermouth in over half a century. 2245B South Vasco Road The vineyards were located on the South end of Arroyo Road in Livermore, California. Great addition to any serious collection. We would reintroduce wormwood, and scour the world for the finest sustainably harvested roots, herbs, and spices. Leave a Reply Cancel reply. ‘Made with Cresta Blanca,’ explained Leiter. It was founded by Charles Wetmore in 1882 with cuttings of Sauvignon blanc from Chateau d'Yquem and … I gave vermouth little thought after that, until one day while eating lunch with a local historian, I was asked if I had ever read Ian Fleming’s Diamonds are Forever. Want to be the first to sample?
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