Primo Vermut – A Lanzarote First
The team at Wine Tours Lanzarote is always excited to promote and acknowledge anyone trying to do something different, especially when it involves Lanzarote. This led Ollie to pay a visit to the team behind Primo Vermut, at their offices in Tias, to find out more about their exciting project.
Primo, meaning “first”, officially launched in 2017 with a team made up of Davide, Luca & Alberto. As it´s name would suggest, it was the first vermut to be produced in Lanzarote and for those that don´t know, vermut, or vermouth depending on where you are from, is essentially a fortified wine, flavoured with botanicals, popularly served as an aperitif.
The Primo story goes further back in history though, as Davide (and the rest of the team) from Piemonte, Italy, the birthplace of the drink in 1786, was making both vermut and liquors for family and friends going back to 2011. When he moved to Lanzarote he experimented further, using the Island´s unique and delicious grape varietals, particularly Malvasia Volcanica and Diego. With great results and feedback, he was encouraged by his now partners to commercialise his unique recipe, which includes Canary Island botanicals such as orange peel, sage, elderberry, coriander & saffron among others. The most important differentiator though, is the wine itself, which is of a much higher quality than a typical vermut. This has been a collaboration between Bodegas Reymar in Mancha Blanca, a Denominacion de Origin winery, where the wine is produced and the vermut elaborated and infused for two months.
Primo is currently available as a white or a red vermut. The first batch of red proved exceptionally popular when it was launched at the recent Saborea Lanzarote Food and Wine Festival in Teguise. Interestingly, red vermut isn´t made with red grapes, it´s usually coloured with such things as caramel. In Primo´s case, it´s from locally sourced prickly pear fruit from cacti and palm honey from La Gomera.
Of course, the visit wouldn´t have been complete without a tasting… well at least the white as the first batch of red or “Rosso” had already sold out! The white is bright and clear with yellow tones. It´s well balanced, with a touch of acidity and an intriguing combination of sweetness and bitterness. It´s light and refreshing with a bias of citrus and floral flavours.
Serving is recommended with a slice of lemon and ice and once opened, you´ll have about two weeks (that wasn´t required for me) if it´s well corked and refrigerated.
You´ll find Primo in an ever-growing number of artisan shops and some of the top restaurants and bars on the Island. You can check out their website here.