05 August 2023
Following the publication of the regulation in the Official Gazette in June 2023, Monferrato welcomes the new Canelli DOCG: a wine in which Coppo has believed since the very beginning.
This recognition is the culmination of a long and complex journey undertaken by the Associazione dei Produttori Moscato di Canelli, of which Coppo has been a part since the association’s foundation in 2001. The Associazione was established to define a higher standard of quality for the wines produced with Moscato grapes in the hilly area surrounding the town of Canelli.
FROM THE SUBZONES TO THE DOCG
The first step for the “newborn” Canelli was the approval of the Moscato d’Asti DOCG subzones in 2011. Following zoning operations in the most suitable areas, the Consorzio authorized the indication of three subzones on the label: Santa Vittoria, Strevi and Canelli. The Canelli subzone originally included 22 municipalities spread between the provinces of Asti and Cuneo, covering a territory that roughly extended from Calamandrana to Serralunga d’Alba.
The following year, the Associazione began to consider the establishment of an independent denomination – the «Canelli DOCG» – and set up a technical group and a commission to conduct legislative, agronomic and enological studies. They also organized a festival, «Canelli e i Colori del Vino», which the Associazione dei Produttori utilized to inform the public about the characteristics of the future wine.
The technical group achieved its first milestone on May 12, 2021, when the Comitato Nazionale Vini DOP e IGP (National Commission for PDO and PGI Wines) approved the proposed regulations for Canelli, effectively authorizing the birth of the new denomination. In the meantime, the regulations had undergone changes. The territory of the DOCG was narrowed down to only 17 municipalities around Canelli, the area historically most suitable for the cultivation of Moscato Bianco. The «Riserva» designation, meant for “aged” Canelli, was also added.
24 years after the foundation of the Associazione dei Produttori, the Canelli DOCG has been officially registered as a separate denomination, permanently detaching from the Consorzio del Moscato d’Asti. Its approval in the Official Gazette makes Canelli DOCG the 60th denomination in Piedmont and the 409th in Italy.
THE NEW REGULATIONS OF CANELLI DOCG
Canelli DOCG include two types, «Canelli» and «Canelli Riserva», which must exclusively be made from Moscato Bianco grapes from vineyards within the area. The production area includes 17 municipalities: Bubbio, Calamandrana, Calosso, Canelli, Cassinasco, Castagnole Lanze, Coazzolo, Costigliole d’Asti, Loazzolo, Moasca and San Marzano Oliveto in the province of Asti; Castiglione Tinella, Cossano Belbo, Neive, Neviglie, Mango and Santo Stefano Belbo in the province of Cuneo.
This is an area that boasts ancient historical and cultural tradition of cultivating Moscato Bianco and the producing Moscato wine, with evidence dating back to the 14th century. The vineyards are identified by specific criteria regarding winegrowing, altitude levels and exposure. The soils, composed of sandy-marly, clayey, and calcareous deposits – low in organic matter – are perfect to ensure the development of Moscato Bianco’s delicate floral and savory notes.
An important element of the new regulation is the strong bond with the territory and the identification of the production area: parts of the territory, minimum and maximum altitudes, and optimal exposures are indicated in detail. Harvesti is exclusively done by hand, with a maximum yield of 95 quintals per hectare and a maximum grape-to-wine conversion rate of 75%. Bottling operations are strictly regulated and must take place within the production area or in neighboring territories to ensure quality and integrity. Being a partially fermented must, the wine requires meticulous vinification processes.
THE NOVELTY OF “RISERVA”
Canelli DOCG wines can be aged, a unique case among Piedmontese wines made from Moscato Bianco. The regulations include the «Riserva» designation to distinguish Canelli wines that have aged and refined for no less than 30 months, including at least 20 months in the bottle before being released for consumption. This is thrilling news for consumers who now have the opportunity to taste much more complex Moscato wines that bring out new and surprising balsamic nuances from a grape variety which, so far, has been mostly appreciated in its youthful version.
WHAT WILL CANELLI DOCG BE LIKE?
Canelli DOCG will present a color that ranges from pale straw-yellow to the intense golden hues of the Riserva version, featuring reflections that vary from greenish to brilliant gold. The bouquet will be aromatic and fragrant, typical of Moscato grapes, with floral and fruity notes of wildflowers and acacia, hints of apricot, peach and Granny Smith apple, as well as scents of citrus and honey, sometimes with fresh vegetal undertones. The wine will be sweet in the mouth, revealing varying degrees of fresh acidity, finishing with delicate, at times lively, aromas of Moscato grapes.
COPPO AND MOSCATO CANELLI
Coppo shares a centuries-old history with Moscato. The winery was founded in 1892 in Canelli, the heart of Piedmont’s Moscato Hills. At that time, Moscato Bianco was widely used for producing sparkling wines, of which Coppo remains a reference in the world (although no longer using Moscato Bianco as a base wine, but rather Pinot and Chardonnay).
Owner of one of the spectacular Underground Cathedrals – underground cellars that are officially recognized as UNESCO World Heritage Sites – Coppo has always believed in the superior quality of Moscato produced in the historical area of Canelli and has been a founding member of the Associazione Produttori. Since 2013, the winery has been producing Moscato d’Asti DOCG Moncalvina «sottozona Canelli», the only Moscato included in their range.
Moncalvina is certainly an iconic label, made with grapes from estate vineyards in Serra Masio e Ceirole, areas that are historically recognized as the most suited for the production of Moscato. Highly acclaimed by international critics, it received 91 points from Robert Parker for its fullness and creamy, natural bubbles that release floral notes accompanied by elegant hints of peach and pear.
«Coppo’s history is tightly bound to Moscato», says Luigi Coppo, CEO of the company. «We have always produced this unique wine here in Canelli and in the surrounding areas. Over the years, the Associazione Produttori Moscato di Canelli has worked diligently to obtain a DOCG that focuses on the product, the vineyard, and the quality of the wines, beyond any speculative or market-driven logic. Coppo has been a member of the association since its foundation and has always been in line with its objectives. Therefore, proudly including this new denomination on the label is the logical consequence of such efforts».