Founded in 1813, Noilly Prat is one of the flagship brands of vermouth, especially for Martinis, and one of the few French brands available. Noilly also has the distinction of being one of the very few vermouth that is significantly aged, over 2 years.
The two varieties of wine used - picpoul and clairette from France, are aged separately in large 100 year-old plus Canadian oak casks to mellow for one year. The two varieties are then separately transferred to smaller wooden casks exposed to the elements, for a further year to simulate a long sea voyage. They are then taken indoors to mellow in a cellar for a further 6 months.
After this they are finally blended together and herbs are macerated in the wine for 3 weeks with a daily stirring by hand. After filtration, the vermouth is allowed to rest for an additional 6 weeks before bottling. This particular expression has been imported to the United States only since 1978, but is much loved by it's devotees.