The Asti-Making Process – An Easy To Understand Explanation

Asti is a delightful Italian sparkling wine from the Piedmont region that offers a refreshing and fruity taste. Made primarily from the Moscato Bianco grape, Asti is renowned for its low alcohol content and distinctive sweetness.

The process of making Asti differs from that of other sparkling wines, such as Champagne and Prosecco. This article will guide you through the unique Asti-making method, which produces a wine with a character all its own.

The Asti-Making Process Explained

Harvesting and Pressing: Asti’s primary grape, Moscato Bianco, is hand-harvested to ensure the highest quality fruit. The grapes are then gently pressed to extract the juice without damaging the delicate skins. This careful process helps to preserve the grape’s natural sweetness and aromatic qualities.

Primary Fermentation: The extracted grape juice is placed in temperature-controlled stainless steel tanks, where it undergoes a slow, cool fermentation. This process helps to retain the grape’s delicate aromas and flavors. Unlike other wines, Asti’s primary fermentation is stopped before all the sugar is converted into alcohol, resulting in a sweeter, lower-alcohol base wine.

Secondary Fermentation: Asti is produced using the Charmat-Martinotti method, similar to Prosecco. The base wine is transferred to a large, sealed, pressurized stainless steel tank known as an autoclave. A carefully selected strain of yeast is introduced, initiating the secondary fermentation. The yeast consumes the remaining sugar, producing alcohol and carbon dioxide. As the pressure builds within the autoclave, the carbon dioxide is dissolved into the wine, creating its effervescence.

Filtration and Bottling: Once the secondary fermentation is complete, the wine is chilled and filtered to remove any remaining yeast or sediment. This step also helps to halt any further fermentation. Asti is then bottled under pressure to maintain its carbonation and sweet, fruity character.

Aging: Asti is typically enjoyed young, showcasing its vibrant and fresh flavors. However, some producers may opt for a short period of aging to develop more complexity in their wine. Nevertheless, Asti’s signature freshness and fruitiness are best appreciated within a few years of production.

The Asti-making process, with its focus on preserving the grape’s natural sweetness and aromatic qualities, sets it apart from other sparkling wines. The result is a delightful, low-alcohol wine that offers a refreshing and fruity taste. Try it with strawberries – a match made in heaven!

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Written by

Bernard Marr has a deep passion for wine. He has written hundreds of articles on wine, including features for Forbes, covering wine-making and industry trends. Away from the world of wine, Bernard is a world-renown business and technology futurist. He is the award winning author of over 20 best-selling books and has a combined audience of nearly 4 million people across his social media channels and newsletters.

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