In 1757 the brothers Giovanni Giacomo and Carlo Stefano Cinzano founded a small shop in Turin in the Italian Piedmont. The two trained distillers experimented in their laboratory and developed the recipe for a wormwood, which has been kept secret until today. This drink was invented in Turin in 1786 by Antonio Benedetto Carpano (1764 -1815), and his nephew succeeded him in creating the famous brand Punt e Mes. The Cinzano Rosso was produced from "aromatic plants from the Italian Alps" with a total of 35 ingredients. Ingredients are among others marjoram, musk yarrow and thyme. The drink was very popular and was also appreciated by Giacomo Casanova (1725-1798). The court of Savoy (the last kings of Italy) appointed the brothers as official suppliers to the court. The royal estate in Santa Vittoria d'Alba later became the site of a production and development facility for wine and sparkling wine.
In 1893 the Cinzano family bought the royal property and started a large industrial production there. The company maintained a marketing strategy that was revolutionary for that time. In 1911, a plane caused a great stir when it dropped thousands of Cinzano advertising cards over Milan. In 1922 the company was converted into a public limited company. At the end of the 1950s, there were branches and partnerships in Europe, Australia and South America. At the same time, the possibilities of film and television were intensively used and many hundreds of commercials were produced. The pop singer Rita Pavone made the Italian toast Cin Cin famous all over the world in the 1960s with "Cin cin Cinzoda - una voglia da morire" (Engl. "Cinzano-Soda - good to die for"). Cinzano is also a cultural and sports sponsor, including the Motorcycle Grand Prix.
Today there are six different versions of Cinzano. After the bitter Rosso, the tart Bianco (with gentian, cloves, cinnamon and citrus fruits), the dry Extra Dry and the semi-dry Rosé were launched. The latest products are Orancio (orange, vanilla) since 1995 and Limetto (lime) since 2003. Apart from the Rose with 11% vol., all the others have an alcohol content of around 15% vol. The basis are cuvées of various Italian wines, preferably from Piedmont. Among others, the varieties Moscato Bianco(Muscat Blanc), Moscato Rosso(Muscat Rose), Garganega and Pinot Nero(Pinot Noir) are used. These are so to speak sprinkled or flavoured with an alcoholic herbal extract. This results in an alcoholic content of 15% vol (except the Rosé with 11% vol).
The herbal mixture, which differs from variant to variant, contains among other things the wormwood herb Artemisia absinthium. After filtration, the wines mature before bottling. In 2007, Cinzano was the second strongest wormwood brand in the world after Martini. The estate includes the wineries Florio in Marsala (Sicily) and Col d'Orcia in Montalcino (Tuscany). It produces various DOC/DOC wines Asti (Asti Spumante, Moscato d'Asti), Brachetto d'Acqui, Oltrepò Pavese and Prosecco, as well as spirits and soft drinks. Cinzano remained entirely family-owned until 1985, when shares were sold. In 1992, the entire share was taken over by Grand Metropolitan, which merged with Multi Diageo in 1997. The latter sold Cinzano to Gruppo Campari in 1999.