For nearly two decades, the Association of Moscato di Canelli producers, of which our friends and producer L’Armangia
is a member of, have battled with the Italian bureaucracy and wine establishment to get the Canelli DOCG recognised. Canelli is considered the home of Italian sparkling wine production and to produce the best Moscato d’Asti but until recently, it was only recognised as a sub zone of the Moscato d’Asti with some producers indicating Canelli on the label.
Finally, the Ministry of Agriculture has granted the application and Canelli is no longer a subzone of Asti and Moscato d'Asti DOCG, but the 78th DOCG in Italy. Now, with the new Canelli DOCG starting from the 2022 vintage, producers will be allowed to swap Asti for Canelli.
For a wine to be Canelli DOCG, it must be 100 percent Moscato Bianco and be grown in 18 communes between the provinces of Asti and Cuneo. Canelli will be a small appellation with only about 100 hectares available and a production of about 500,000 bottles and for the first time, will feature the “riserva” version for wines aged a minimum of 30 months, including 20 months in bottle. Amongst the other requirements of the Canelli DOCG, only manual harvesting is allowed and the vineyards must be in hilly areas between 165 and 500 metres.
Ignazio the owner and winemaker of L’Armangia and all its colleagues are very happy, the war is finally over, but is it really? In the course of 25 years in the industry, I tasted hundreds if not thousands of Moscato d’Asti and the ones coming from the Canelli area, have always scored higher, however, launching a new appellation in 2023 is not going to be an easy, and inexpensive, task for the Consorzio, you already know my thought on creating new appellations. If the appellation had been granted 20 years ago, when it was first submitted, it would have made sense, now, I am not too sure.
Moscato d’Asti has become a worldwide known wine and trying to rebrand some of it as Canelli will be a daunting challenge for anyone, even more for the Canelli DOCG’s producers that are small and will need to foot the bill. At the same time the Moscato d’Asti producers will increase their marketing spending to avoid losing market share or becoming the second choice for Moscato d’Asti lovers. It will be another Cain and Abel story. Despite the Canelli DOCG, it maybe better keep Canelli in the label as it still was a subzone for all producers but independently of Ignazio’s decision, whether to swap appellation or not, we will stand by him, and keep drinking his award winning Moscato d'Asti