As Darrell relates the story:
Originally Posted By: "Darrell"

This is a Sutter Home wine. It is the result of two pallets of vermouth, one dry white and the other sweet red that had been made for the Bartolucci winery. This place was to become Oakville Vineyards winery sitting across from Inglenook. When the winery was sold the Bartolucci's called Bob Trinchero and asked him to come and pickup the two pallets which they had to get out of the winery. They had been made in late 1950s. The maker was Bob's uncle John who was the winemaker of Sutter Home until Bob took over.

Bob called me to ask what should he do with two pallets of 25 year old vermouth. I said to open the bottles, put the wine back to bulk and I would go over and taste it. When tasting it from a puncheon, I said I would buy all of it. Since Sutter Home at that time had a bottle washing system in house, some of the old bottles, Owens-Illinois flint, pushup with a short screw cap were re washed and the vermouth bottles in this old glass. A lot was put into red-brown dessert bottles.

When bottled, we had a tasting at Charles Myers' apartment and most of the wine was divided up by the people present. It sold for $2.49 a bottle and cost Corti Brothers $17.00 the case. I will never again sell wine so good at such a price. It was serendipity that we had the wine in the first place. According to modern business practice, it would be unthinkable to buy a wine, not sell most of it, and then after 25 years of bottle age, re-bottle it. It was splendid wine when re-bottled and still splendid when we drank it. Very little is left, even in my cellar, but the label provided the problem of the wine. The word Cantinavecchia is just "old cellar". The then BATF objected to the name, since "old" vecchia is in the word and wine is not to be called "old."

The Raina Vermouth Numero Uno made with Sagrantino, should have at least as good a future.


The Raina was a Vermouth made from Sagrantino wine by an Italian producer in Montefalco:
that Darrell served at the end of dinner when I was there. No TN's but I recalled liking it quite a lot. I should be trying more Vermouths I think.