The wonder of Asti

by Charlotte
(Leeds)

The Piedmont town of Asti may be famous for Asti Spumante, the sparkling white wine made from the moscato bianco grape, but this does not mean that other fine wines are not produced in this region. Indeed, with limestone and sandstone deposits contributing to a nutrient-rich terrain, the wine growing in this part of Italy is amongst the best in the country. In this article, I will explore some of the great wines produced here.


The deep ruby red Barbera d'Asti is a wine of exceptional quality. This has only been enhanced by the centuries of tradition which have been poured into making this exceptional product. The older the vines, the fruitier and richer the flavour, whilst its high acidic content gives the wine a hidden depth. Barbara comes in a range of different varieties dependent upon the age of the grape. Young grapes carry hints of cherries and blueberries, whilst riper ones have a distinct black cherry flavour.

Freisa d’Asti is another top class red wine which is made in the Asti region. This is traditionally semi-sweet in flavour with a hint of blackberry but drier varieties also exist. It has a delicate aroma and is best served with poultry and other forms of white meat. It is most famed for its slightly foaming nature, which makes the wine lightly sparkling. It is exceptionally refreshing and is the perfect way to round off a day of sightseeing in the region.

Grignolino d’Asti is a renowned red wine whose grape is grown in the area around Asti. In fact, this grape is specific to the Piedmont region. It produces lighter wines than both the Barbera and Freisa, whilst roses can also be derived from its vines. These wines are known for their fruity aromas and bitter palette, which is caused by the high volume of pips in the ferment. This means they contain a high tannin content, which producers often try to reduce through a number of pressings. Grignolino d’Asti is designed to be enjoyed whilst young, unlike the Barbera which improves with age.

A whole host of different wines can be discovered in the region around Asti, with many small vineyards offering their own unique versions. Sampling these during any trip to Piedmont comes highly recommended.

A trip to this region of Italy is perfect for those wanting to tour the whole of Europe, sampling the food and drink delights on offer in different major European cities. Be sure to plan your trip well in advance, though, as Florence Hotels and Rome Hotels for example, book up very quickly indeed at peak times.

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