As of October, the Consorzio Barbera d'Asti e Vini del Monferrato has officially approved the upgrade of the Terre Alfieri DOC appellation in the Piedmont region to a DOCG (Designated Appellation of Guarantee). Terre Alfieri DOCG will be the 18th DOCG wine region in the Piedmont region and the 76th DOCG wine region in Italy.
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The full spelling of DOCG is: Denominazione di origine controllata e garantita, and is the highest level in the Italian wine classification system.
The Terre Alfieri appellation was created in 2009 and named after Count Vittorio Alfieri, the famous Asti poet and playwright, who was born in 1749.
The Terre Alfieri DOCG in Piedmont is located mainly in the Asti province and focuses on two grape varieties, Arneis for white wines and Nebbiolo for red wines. Although production is small, Tre Alfieri will become a very important ecological niche for wine. The soil in the steep hills is composed of marine sedimentary deposits from the Pliocene period (53,000 to 26,000 years ago) and is named Asti Sand.
The new DOCG is located roughly in the southwest of Asti and covers 11 municipalities. Seven are in the Asti province, and they are: Antignano, Celle Enomondo, Cisterna dAsti, Revigliasco, San Damiano, San Martino Alfieri, Tigliole. The other four are located at the border of Cuneo province, and they are: Castellinaldo, Govone, Magliano Alfieri and Priocca.
This result enriches not only our DOCG range but also our entire wine market, said Filippo Mobrici, president of the Asti Barbera and Monferrato Wine Region Association. He added that the new appellation upgrade is just the beginning. We hope that Tre Alfieri will be as successful as other appellations with controlled and guaranteed sources, such as Barbera dAsti, Nizza and Ruch di Castagnole Monferrato.
The Terre Alfieri DOCG has strict rules for winemaking and production, from yield to ageing time. The Terre Alfieri DOCG guarantees that the appellation can produce two types of wines: Arneis white wines and Nebbiolo red wines, using at least 85% of Arneis white grapes and at least 85% of Nebbiolo red grapes, respectively.
The minimum alcohol content of white wines from this appellation should be 11.5 degrees, or 12 degrees if the name of the vineyard is on the label. If the wine is labeled Superiore, it should be aged for at least 6 months. Nebbiolo red wines from this appellation should have a minimum alcohol content of 12.5 degrees, or 13 degrees if the vineyard name is on the label. If the wine is labeled Superiore, it should be aged for at least 12 months, with at least 6 months in oak barrels. If the wine is labeled Riserva, it should be aged for at least 24 months, of which at least 12 months in oak barrels.
There is no doubt that Arneis and Nebbiolo represent an elegant and noble variety of white and red wines in Italy and throughout the world. Despite the limited production of the appellation, there is no doubt: the emphasis is on quality rather than quantity, reflecting the demand for quality wines originating from the market.