Emilio Rocchino came to Sardinia from Salerno in 2006 looking for work and began bartending in the famous town of Porto Rotondo on the Costa Smeralda, a popular vacation spot for the rich and famous. He went on from there to bartend in Milan before returning to Sardinia and working with a spirits producer on the island making various traditional Sardinian spirits and developing a line of spirits for them. It was here that his creativity flourished and he began to develop his own recipes. His first idea was to make a Torino-style red vermouth using Sardinian ingredients including the famous Sardinian red-berried Mirto plant, in part to honor the historical connection between Piedmont and Sardinia. He says when vermouth was born in 1786 in Torino, Piedmont was part of the Kingdom of Sardinia and Emilio believes they used Sardinian Moscato wine as part of the blend. He has vermouth made to his recipe, partly in Sardinia and partly by a well-known vermouth producer near Asti, in Piedmont. Where possible he uses Sardinian ingredients, many of which are foraged (rather than cultivated), while the base wines come from both regions.
The Dry Marino is inspired by traditional, purposefully oxidized, French vermouths which led to Emilio’s choice of a unique Sardinian wine: Vernaccia di Oristano. It is aged 5 years in a solera system under flor, which partially oxidizes the wine and also imparts its own flavors, similar to sherry. The vernaccia adds nutty and savory notes and a round, oily texture, which are complemented by bright apple, lemon and sea salt. Finish is herbaceous and citrus-inflected. Contains half the amount of sugar allowed in the Extra Dry style.