Casa Cinzano founded: an Italian legend is born
The brothers Carlo Stefano and Giovanni Giacomo Cinzano are accredited as members of the the ‘Università dei Maestri Acquavitai e Confettieri’ of Torino, marking the house’s foundation. This prestigious position is linked to their thriving business of confectionery products run by Carlo Stefano in the city and supplied by the harvests of Giovanni Giacomo on the family lands, lying over the hills of Pecetto (Torino).
What does a confectioner do?
Confectionery consists in the art of working sugar, largely with a view to transforming and preserving all kinds of fruit. On entering the shop of the Cinzano brothers in the second half of the 18th century, we would therefore have found not only all kinds of sweets, comfits, pralines and candies, sugar decorations – even genuine sculptures for the wealthier tables – jams, marmalades and gelatines, but above all syrups, alcoholic preparations, rose oils and liqueurs, very much appreciated in that period. Those were the years in which the Cinzano brothers, as confectioners and distillers, were experimenting with recipes for the infusion and sweetening of wines which would eventually lead to the creation of their very own vermouth.
The Royal Appointment
By 1776, the Cinzanos were providing their specialities by appointment to the Royal Savoy Court, and their bottega (shop, in English) now located on the renowned street, Via Dora Grossa 18 (or Via Garibaldi as it is named today), in the very heart of the hustle and bustle of Torino, was fast-becoming one of the most successful family-run businesses.
Francesco Cinzano II
By 1830, the family business welcomed Francesco II, the son of Francesco, and grandson of Giovanni Giacomo. With dreams, an open mindset and a true fire within, Francesco II was instrumental in the next chapter of Cinzano’s history, seizing a wealth of opportunity with the ongoing experimentation of the vineyards of Santa Vittoria d’Alba.
A Sparkling Innovation
As suppliers to the Royal Court, Cinzano was entrusted with the challenge and finally, in the mid-1800s, their Spumante (sparkling wine) was born, expanding the business into the production of sparkling wine. Santa Vittoria d’Alba became the heart of the Cinzano world and the business was ready to evolve from a local storefront to a global brand.
The Company Francesco Cinzano & Compagnia
Francesco II died in 1868, but not before setting another milestone for the Cinzano brand – a new Royal Appointment. His son Enrico took the helm and established the company as Francesco Cinzano & Compagnia, placing the confectionary side of the business to one side to focus primarily on vermouth.
International Expositions & Awards
In 1884, Cinzano pioneered free tastings at the Torino Expo, while Enrico made the decision to evolve the product’s packaging. Handwritten tags were replaced with more contemporary, printed labels, with the brand’s successes and Royal Appointments displayed directly on the bottle itself.
Beginning of the Advertising Age
Developing its communications strategy in line with the Belle Époque’s aesthetic, Cinzano adopted new mediums and techniques the era had to offer, from posters and postcards, to ads in media titles such as Telegrafo magazine, a prominent Italian daily newspaper at the time. Only the greatest Italian brands could afford to work with artists and illustrators and Cinzano was no exception, leading from the front. Bold in their style, Enrico and his brother, Emiliano, collaborated with the most daring artists of time allowing the brand to evolve alongside popular culture.
An Iconic Red & Blue
A new blue and red logo was introduced in 1925. The red symbolises passion, pride and radiance. The blue represents nobility, tradition and the depth of the Mediterranean. Together the two colours represent ‘Italianness’. The upward diagonal slash between them was designed to symbolise the upward path of the company.
The Secret of Santa Vittoria
While factory premises were damaged during bombings, in Santa Vittoria d’Alba, the cellars where more than a million bottles were stored were walled in to protect them from air raids and from the requisitions of the German army. The episode inspired a novel by Robert Crichton, ‘The Secret of Santa Vittoria’, which in 1967 would also become an international film, starring Anna Magnani, Virna Lisi and Anthony Quinn.
Cinzano advertising expands to cinema, radio and television, with over 230 unforgettable television adverts between 1957 and 1980. The most successful of these were probably the series Cinzano TV ads starring Leonard Rossiter and Joan Collins during the 70s (rated among the best commercials of all time) and the jingles with Rita Pavone (‘Cin cin Cinzoda / una voglia da morir …’ – ‘Cheers cheers Cinzoda / to die for …’). ‘Cin cin’ has been used as a toast in Italy ever since.
Gruppo Campari acquires the Cinzano brand which, after more than 240 years, continues to represent Italian excellence around the world. The intention is to revitalise and give a new lease on life to a historical brand whose portfolio features Italian sparkling wines to accompany convivial moments, as well as vermouth, for aperitivo and cocktailing.
250 years of an Italian Icon
Not many brands can look back on an uninterrupted 250-year history, and Cinzano marked this milestone with a decade of collaborations with artists such as Selwyn Senatori, Eduard Erlikh, Angela Bornia, Alessandra Scandella, and Ugo Nespolo for campaigns and limited edition releases.
Casa Cinzano 1757 Vermouth
A new line of vermouths named '1757', inspired by historical Cinzano family recipes. Casa Cinzano 1757 soon becomes one of the most appreciated vermouths among mixologists for their cocktail creations.
260th Anniversary of Casa Cinzano
In 2017, Cinzano sparkling wines get a new look: the labels, the packaging and the brand identity are all re-elaborated, drawing inspiration from the classical tradition of the brand, creating a series of products with a new appeal, both contemporary and eye-catching. Every bottle perfectly envelops the positive energy and vitality that will continue to characterise the Cinzano brand for the next 260 years. The Anniversary is marked with a temporary exhibition in Torino, displaying for the first time in nearly two decades, historic artworks, bottles and items of the brand.