The Grapes behind Italian Bubbles/意大利起泡葡萄酒背后的葡萄们!

Xiao (杜小雯) & Jing (王景)

English Speaking (英文)


Here is my study note for the Asti area in Piemonte, Italy! Thank you for visiting the page, and this is a gift for you, dear wine lovers!


Asti DOCG is located in Piemonte in north-west Italy. It is made from Muscat Blanc à Petits Grains using the Asti Method and hs the distinct grapey character associated with this variety. The best examples have a pronounced, fruity aroma of peach and grape overlaid with floral notes. 

Asti DOCG (a.k.a. Asti Spumente) a sparking white Italian wine that is produced throughout southeastern Piemont but is particularly focused around towns of Asti and Alba. 

Grape: 100% Moscato Bianco (a.k.a. Muscat Blanc à Petits Grains, Moscato Canelli) has a parent-offspring relationship with most known Moscato varieties;

–    most planted white grape in Piemonte;

–    First documented in 1304;

–    Grown in Piemonte since 1300s;

–    15th century: Duke Emanuele Filiberto di Savoia;

  • In 1511, statute of La Morra requires 20% muscatellum;
  • In 1606, Giovanni Batista Croce documents the process of making a sweet, aromatic, low alcohol moscato wine. “His wine was not conceived of as sparkling wine but no doubt slight refermentation did occassionally occur.”;

– In 1865, Carlo Gancia employed Champagne method for moscato production. Producing his wine in the town of Canelli along the river Belbo, the wine grew in such popularity that Moscato Bianco developed the synonym of Muscat Canelli that is still seen on wine labels today. 

– Moscato group, all of them are more related to a degree to other Italian grape groups.

– Fragrant; moscati (fly); musk (gland of musk deer); nutmag – spicy aromas; terpenes

– Since ancient time: Greek, Homer – Ananthelicon Moscathon; Apianae – refer to a different group

Wine: sweet, low in alcohol, slightly sparkling, made without autolytic characters, which would detract from the fruitiness of Muscat, often served with dessert; Asti does not benefit from ageing and should be drunk as young as possible.

The Asti Method: single tank method – autoclave, only 1 fermentation, retain pressure in the wine; 

Moscato d’Asti (production 25% – ripest grapes, with at least 10% potential alcohol, can’t be chaptalised): 4.5-6.5% ABV, frizzante, < 2.5 ATM, standard cork or Stelvin closure (screwcap).

Asti & Asti Secco (75%) (marketing term, dry and extra-dry level): 6 – 9.5% ABV, spumente, 4.5 – 5 ATM; residual sugar from extra-dry (12g/L) to Dolce (50+ g/L); wired cock;

Asti DOCG: 4000 producing agencies; 52 townships; 9700 hectares vineyard, 85 millon bottles/year. 

Canelli: most full-bodied style (“grand cru”)

Santo Stefano Belbo: more refined perfumed quality

Loazzolo: 85 million bottles per year

Barbera d’Asti DOCG: considered a better quality and drier than Barbera d’Alba DOC. It has a maximum yield of 63hL/ha and the wine has to be aged for a minimum of four months only. It is a late ripening grape, with medium to deep color, low to medium tannins and high acidity, displaying aromas of red cherries and plums, sometimes black pepper. The wines are typically made in two styles: youthful and fruity with no oak influence, or barrel-aged to give spicy flavours. Barbera d’Asti DOCG Superiore

Barbera, most planted grape in Piemonte.


See you next week!

Published by 小Vino

B. Sc. Viticulture & Enology; Vinifera EuroMaster M.Sc. Viticulture, Enology & Wine Marketing; IWA; WSET Diploma Holder 🔛 ------------------------------- 👣 WSET Diploma candidate, lifelong wine education continues; 👣 VIA (Vinitaly International Academy) certified Italian Wine Ambassador; 👣 3.5 + years work experience in marketing & promotion for 🇮🇹🍷, with a specialty of Wine Social Media Advertising; 👣 6 years of academic training in Viticulture, Enology and Wine Marketing at top-tier universities both in China 🇨🇳 and Europe (🇫🇷 & 🇮🇹); 👣 2 harvest as a trainee winemaker in Bordeaux, France 🇫🇷 (2014) and Sonoma Coast, USA 🇺🇸(2016); 👣 many wine exhibition experiences as an exhibitor, promoter, and interpreter

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