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Finally, an Italian Vodka for Your Martini

Verità Vodka Italiana gives bartenders an Italian-made spirit crafted for mixing that will be widely available in the United States.

Bottle of Verita vodka

Verità is a new made-in-Italy vodka that is now widely available in the United States. Photo: Mikhail Lipyanskiy

Lately, it seems we’re besieged with news about Italian amari, liqueurs, and cocktails. It’s a boom time for Negronis and spritzes in the United States. La Dolce Vita seems to have infiltrated American cocktail culture. And many of the ingredients used in these drinks come from Italy, with one notable exception: vodka. 

That’s the thinking behind Verità Vodka Italiana, a new offering from Napa, CA-based Italian wine and spirits importer Dalla Terra Winery Direct. The company known for working with dozens of respected Italian wine producers recently expanded into spirits, partnering over the past few years with Italian producers of gin, vermouth, and amaro to make their bottles available to American audiences. But when Dalla Terra went to find a vodka that they could export to the United States, says president Scott Ades, they faced an unexpected hurdle.

“There are maybe anywhere from eight to a dozen different Italian vodkas,” Ades tells Appetito, “but most of them are not available broadly in the U.S. and most or all of them are very expensive.” Ades says that the typical retail price for an imported Italian vodka is more than $50 per 750 ml bottle at retail, which is pricier than Grey Goose and even uber-luxury vodkas like Absolut Elyx. He adds that most of the existing Italian vodkas are branded with Polish or Russian-sounding names.

Verità, which is rolling out to the U.S. market this spring and summer, will retail for a suggested retail price of $25, aiming to win converts at liquor stores and at bars and restaurants. It’s a smooth, 4x-distilled vodka made with Italian wheat and mountain water from the Dolomites near the distillery in San Pietro di Feletto, Veneto, about 60 kilometers north of Venice.

“The Dalla Terra model is all about bringing high-quality products to the market at a very reasonable price,” Ades says. To deliver a vodka, though, they had to get clever and do something that the company normally doesn’t. Rather than offering an existing company a direct-importing deal as with almost all of their wineries and distilleries, Dalla Terra instead created a brand and identity, working with an existing Italian distillery to make the spirit.

Dalla Terra chairman and founder Brian Larky, Ades, and their team hired Distilleria dell’Alpe, a multi-generational maker of traditional grappa, aperitivi, and digestivi. Ades says that Dalla Terra spent more than six months developing the brand identity for Verità, aiming to be “reminiscent of the early days of spirits in Italy,” such as Campari, famed not only for its product but for its graphic design and marketing. 

“We wanted it to be clean and elegant and be able to stand out on the shelf,” Ades says of the label and bottle design. 

Now, the hope is that Verità will become the vodka of choice for bartenders, whether at home or in restaurants or bars, who want to make Italian-leaning cocktails such as the trending espresso martini with an Italian-made spirit. For a company known for bringing Italian wine into the U.S., Verità represents a new moment of truth. 

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