Appellation Guide: Asti DOCG (Piedmont, Italy)
Asti DOCG is known throughout the wine world for its light, low alcohol sparkling and semi sparkling white wine made from the Moscato grape. Cultivated in Piedmont, around the town of Asti, these wines have found supporters all over the world.
A great deal of Asti's early reputation was built on the party aspect of the wine; its low alcohol and residual sugar made them perfect for Italians to pop open and celebrate social life with. The inoffensive sweetness of Asti wines helped them find export markets all over the world and in 1993 the wine was held in high enough esteem to be promoted to DOCG status in 1993.
As tends to happen, supply increased to meet demand and Piedmont was suddenly awash with large quantities of inexpensive, cheap sweet wine. Much of it was uninteresting and facilitated the wines growing reputation as Nasty Asti.
But that doesn't tell the true story. There are many produced making artisan Moscato d'Asti with plenty of character and geographic personality. Three sub zones stand out within the appellation. Canelli and Strevi in particular, while Santa Vittoria d'Alba has a growing following and it is here that the wine can also be made in a late harvest (Vedemmia Tardiva) style as well.
The highest quality of Asti DOCG is made in the Metodo Classico style where the wine must spend at least nine months in contact with the lees.
Recommended Producers: Bera