The Vermouth Sec is brand-new, created by the second generation of Verganos now in charge of the family business and lab in Torino. It differs from the other four Vergano classics in two main ways. It is the first one with a non-Italian wine base, in this case estate Romorantin from their close friend Thierry Puzelat of Clos du Tue Boeuf in the Loire Valley. And the sec is the first whose extract concia in Italian) is prepared from mainly fresh, seasonal, organic ingredients--as opposed to the usual dried botanicals that permit year-round production. It takes about a year to build.
The Verganos pick and prepare the following ingredients for the sec extract: citrons for their fresh peels in January; wild elderflower and acacia flowers in spring; raspberries in July; fig leaves at summer's end (used fresh and dried); and the almondy kernels from inside fresh peach pits (they pick the peaches in season, dry the pits and crush them to obtain the kernels). Each ingredients is macerated separately for best results for each and then layered along the way, making up about 75% of the final extract. The other 25% is built from dried ingredients like wormwood and peppercorns in the meantime. At the end of the year, the final concia is blended.
From there, the sec is made like the other Vergano products: the extract, cane sugar and bentonite are added to the base wine, in this case the Romorantin from Tue Boeuf in a small stainless steel tank. The vermouth clarifies and integrates over a 7-10-day period. It is then filtered, fortified and bottled. The sec has a much lower percentage of sugar compared to the bianco. Like the rest of the Vergano line-up, the wine base comes in at 77-80%, as opposed to the legally required 75%, and thus is lower-proof than others in the category.