After Felix Leiter surprises James Bond in Manhattan in Diamonds Are Forever, they go to lunch. Bond visits the washroom and when he returns, Leiter has already ordered for him.

There was a medium dry Martini with a piece of lemon peel waiting for him. Bond smiled at Leiter’s memory and tasted it. It was excellent, but he didn’t recognize the Vermouth.

“Made with Cresta Blanca,” explained Leiter. “New domestic brand from California. Like it?”

“Best Vermouth I ever tasted.”

Cresta Blanca was one of California’s most historic wineries, having been founded in 1882. In 1889, a white wine from Cresta Blanca won the Grand Prize at the Paris Exposition – the first time a California wine won a competition in France. With the victory, the future of the wine industry in the state looked much stronger.

They also made a Vermouth, which was what Leiter ordered above. The winery was purchased by Schenley Distillers  in 1941, and closed in 1965. The site is now a historical landmark.



2 thoughts on “Cresta Blanca Vermouth

  1. My old US paperback, published by Signet, deleted the Cresta Blanca name, apparently due to an aversion to product placement. In the US version, Leiter’s comment imply reads, “Domestic stuff.”

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