Allegrini 2018

Canelli, cradle of Italian sparkling wine, towards DOCG. The process has begun, first bottle in 2020

Procedure underway, now the Piedmont Region the Wines Committee and Brussels are examining it. Producers are aiming for 1 million bottles
I vigneti di Canelli of Michele Chiarlo

Canelli, the historic heart of Italian sparkling wine, with its “Underground Cathedrals”, Unesco heritage, and where in 1865, Carlo Gancia created Italian sparkling wine with Moscato, is now preparing to become DOCG. The procedure started in spring, upon the initiative of the Asti Consortium, explained a note from the Moscato Canelli Producers Association that opened the way for the DOCG of the current Moscato d’Asti sub-area. The issue will soon be addressed by the Piedmont Region, by the Wines Committee in Rome and then in Brussels. If all goes well, the first bottle of Canelli DOCG will be produced from the 2020 harvest. Meanwhile, numbers are speaking of growth. Bottled wines in the first half of 2019 reached nearly 200.000 bottles, 30% more than in the first 6 months of 2018. “Our goal of 500.000 bottles within 2019 is now”, explained Gianmario Cerutti, president of the Moscato Canelli Manufacturers Association, “almost certain, and we are ready to say we are aiming for a million bottles in just a few years, counting only on the companies in the “Association”. A slight drop in bottles occurred between 2017 and 2018, falling from 410.000 to 390.000, but do not be mislead. “It was the scarce 2017 harvest that had a negative effect”, explained Cerutti, “instead by the 2018 harvest, hectares of vineyards in the area destined for Canelli increased 20%. We are now close to 100 hectares and the wine production potential is 850.000 bottles”. Historical data has shown that 95.000 bottles were produced in 2014, increased to 123.000 in 2015, then 220.000 in 2016, 410.000 in 2017, and 390.000 last year. That is, growth has been constant, and stopped only a short while, partially due to a scarce harvest, which within a few years registered 90% increase. These are small numbers, but signal there is great appeal for Canelli. Exports confirm it too, as 50% of the bottles are consumed on foreign markets.
“The number of companies that believe and bet on Canelli is constantly growing”, stated the president, “as well as the conviction of being on the right path. Making Canelli is not a simple choice due to the rules we set for ourselves. We choose to produce Canelli because it is a concrete project for the future. Today, there are 19 companies in the Association, or 80% of the current Moscato Canelli producers”. The 2011 harvest was the first year Moscato Canelli was produced. The production area includes 23 Municipalities between Southern Asti and Langa, in Piedmont, in an area that is highly suitable to cultivate white Moscato grapes and is UNESCO protected as World Heritage Site “core area”. The grapes are often cultivated in the “sorì”, the excellent Piedmont high hill heroic rows, well exposed to the sun but with high slopes, which almost exclusively require manual processing. Meanwhile, on Saturday July 6th, to celebrate the wine and the territory, the 6th edition of “Il Canelli and the colors of wine” will be held and “The long sweet night”. The Moscato Canelli Producers Association created and organized. This event includes a 12-stage wine & food itinerary along the Sternia, the ancient heart of the city, where one can taste wines paired to typical dishes of the territory.

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