Born in Piedmont last century, it soon spread throughout Italy due to its well-balanced bittersweet taste and, above all, to the great reputation of the 'Barolo' name which immediately differentiated it from the other alcoholic beverages containing China Calissaja barks. The inventor of a genuine recipe, Giulio Cocchi was also the champion of the Barolo Chinato’ spreading. In the 19th century Barolo Chinato became popular as a wine used for medicinal purposes. As a matter of fact, in Piedmont it was a traditional antidote for several minor diseases, especially cold diseases.
As mulled wine (vin brulé) having warming and invigorating qualities, it was praised for its fever-reducing and digestives properties. Thus presenting mulled wine became a habit and a hearty way to welcome guests in country villages in winter time. Today, while revisiting the traditions and attempting to recover a more natural style of living, new interesting ways of drinking this spiced wine are emerging.
|Giulio Cocchi was a creative, open-minded person from Florence - they say he was working in Florence’s most popular bar located in Piazza del Duomo. In the late nineteenth century he moved to Asti and opened his own business as a distiller and sparkling wine maker. He was able to offer a range of special flavored wine. In particular, two recipes - Barolo Chinato and Aperitivo Americano – became well known and very successful quite soon.
In the cellars of the town of Asti, Asti Spumante was originally produced like Champagne by bottle fermentation. Giulio Cocchi had the great idea of establishing authorized retailers where people were allowed to taste the products. In 1913 there were already seven wine tasting venues in Piedmont.
The Cocchi name and range were spreading very soon worldwide, as shown by papers documenting exports to New York, London, Sidney, Colonial Africa and Venezuela, where the “Casa Cocchi de Venezuela” was founded and run for a long while in Caracas. Recently travelers reported to have seen a genuine advertising mirror from Cocchi inside a cafeteria in Addis Ababa. In Italy you can still find bars keeping their original name after Cocchi’s, such as Bar Barolo Chinato Cocchi and Bar Barolino Cocchi.
In the late seventies, the Cocchi business became the property of the Bava family that modernized the production and relaunched the Barolo Chinato Cocchi as a cult product throughout Italy. In 1995 Roberto Bava had the successful idea of combining the Cocchi label and the Barolo Chinato icon with chocolate. In 2007 CACAOCOCCHI, a business division devoted to researching and producing high quality chocolate candies using selected crue blends from well-known cocoa plantations, was established.
Today the chocolate praline with Barolo Chinato Cocchi created by number-one master chocolatier Andrea Slitti is the best praline of a kind ever produced in Italy. With the new OIOIO line, the successful union of cocoa and Barolo Chinato was definitely strengthened.The Company has launched again their premium range of Spumante Classico (made by using the traditional method), Spumante Charmat (made by using the Charmat method) and Asti Docg. In spite of being the smallest of the historical Piedmontese sparkling wine makers, Cocchi has nevertheless played a prominent role in researching and launching the new DOC Altalanga.
As a matter of fact, the Altalanga Totocorde Cocchi is becoming more and more popular, also in the rare Oro version from late harvesting. New processing and aging cellars are now under construction at Cocconato. Today the Cocchi range is being exported to European, Asian and US markets. Cocchi wines are much appreciated products from the Asti region and can be increasingly found in most chic restaurants and wine bars worldwide.
Being deep seated locally alike, the Company has joined its forces with Caffe Vergnano and Sacla to reopen the historical Bar Cocchi, thus giving back the town its historical cafe and the Asti people the chance of enjoying “their” traditional aperitif. Bar Cocchi’s fantastic, super-stocked “sparkling bar” in the old cellars downtown Asti is a real must!