Asti Wine Region Guide

Discover the Essence of Piedmont – From Sparkling Traditions to Hidden Gems


Last updated: July 9, 2024


The town of Asti in northwestern Italy’s Piedmont region has long been synonymous with fruity sparkling wine: light, fresh, and eminently quaffable. Unfortunately, the production of this iconic style is dominated by the big Asti houses, which display scant regard for quality – over 80 million bottles are made and shipped to supermarkets each year.

Yet, the number of smaller producers is growing, and they are showing a remarkable commitment to revitalizing Asti’s premium reputation on the world stage. Their dedication is evident in the promotion of some excellent traditional method wines alongside the cheap-and-cheerful plonk.

Moreover, there is more to Asti than simply the Muscat grape. Indeed, it is a major wine center of Piedmont, lending its name to several key appellations and styles; the suffix “d’Asti” appears in several guises, including Barbera d’Asti and the underrated (but up-and-coming) Dolcetto d’Asti.

But, from an economic and cultural perspective, Moscato d’Asti is the most important DOCG in the undulating landscape of central Piedmont.

Introduced by the ancient Greeks (Moscato derives from the Hellenic word for musk), the grape has been cultivated on the Italian Peninsula for over two millennia. While Prosecco enjoys a greater profile in international markets, Asti Spumante has a far more established historical pedigree.

The question is: With its rich history and the growing number of smaller producers, can Asti Spumante reinvent itself for the 21st century?

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James lawrence

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