This is a preview of the content in our French Food Decoder app. Get the app to:
  • Read offline
  • Remove ads
  • Access all content
  • Use the in-app Map to find sites, and add custom locations (your hotel...)
  • Build a list of your own favourites
  • Search the contents with full-text search functionality
  • ... and more!
iOS App Store Google Play

Noilly Prat

France’s oldest Vermouth

Chais Noilly-Prat à Marseillan - Vue panoramique - Photo personnelle.

Straw-coloured Noilly Prat is named after Joseph Noilly, the herbalist who invented this ‘Rolls Royce of Vermouths’ in Marseillan in 1813, just a few years before Vermouth de Chambéry—and 50 years before Martini invented their own Vermouth.

Noilly Prat bottle

The Noilly Prat process is unusual. First dry white wine made from the local Picpoul de Pinet and Clairette grapes is aged for eight months in enormous oak casks from Canada. Then the wine is transferred into smaller barrels and moved into the sun and cold for a year, where up to 8% is lost as the ‘angels’ share’.

The casks are then brought inside and topped up with mistelle, along with a dash of fruit essence. Then over the course of the next three weeks, a secret mix of herbs and spices is added to the casks by hand (the dodinage). After macerating for another six weeks, the Noilly Prat is bottled.

In 1971 Martini purchased Noilly Prat; you can take the distillery tour in Marseillan from March to November.



Text © Dana Facaros

Images by Clément Bucco-Lechat, The original uploader was ByB at French Wikipedia.