Appears in

Oxford Companion to Wine

Oxford Companion to Wine

By Jancis Robinson

Published 2006

  • About

Asti, town and province in piemonte in north-west Italy whose name appears in local varietal reds made from Dolcetto, Freisa, and Barbera d’Asti. Unlike its counterpart Barbera d’Alba, made from vines traditionally planted in lesser sites where Nebbiolo will not ripen, Barbera has always been given supreme vineyard sites in Asti. Barbera d’Asti was elevated to docg in 2010, with three superior subzones: Tinella, Colli Astiani or Astiano, and Nizza.

However Asti’s name is most commonly associated with playful, aromatic, lightly sparkling wine with modest alcohol levels that is Italy’s biggest-selling wine. In 1993, along with the superior moscato d’asti, Asti Spumante was elevated to docg status and renamed Asti, largely in an effort to distinguish it from the host of frizzante or sparkling wines produced in Italy from a host of grape varieties of very varying quality.