Mario Berchio, Natincò Enologist

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Interview with Mario Berchio, Natincò enologist.

People love Moscato all over the world, but what is its history and what is special about it?

There are countless types of moscato wine: overripe, dry, fortified, straw, etc. The vine belongs to a family with many varieties, all more or less aromatic, and historically grown around the Mediterranean Sea: the real cradle of moscato.

WHITE MOSCATO is the variety universally recognised as the most aromatic: it has medium-small grapes that grow in small bunches and produce a particular and precise aroma. The other varieties are on average more productive, but less aromatic than the Moscato Bianco. I have to stress that the aroma of the grape is connected to the sugars: if they are lost during fermentation, the typical aromas of the grape are lost too.

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Who first realised this fact?

Here in Piedmont we were the first: our grandfathers filtered the moscato as soon as it was pressed and the must was left imbued with that rich sweetness.

Who first used cold storage to preserve the sweetness of the must?

We Piedmontese, again: we lowered the bottles of moscato down to the bottom of the well where they would be preserved in that natural coolness that helped keep the wine sweet.

Or they would bury the bottles in the sand of the tuff caves and sprinkle them with water: as the water evaporated it cooled the bottles.

Who first used cold storage to preserve the sweetness of the must?

We Piedmontese, again: we lowered the bottles of moscato down to the bottom of the well where they would be preserved in that natural coolness that helped keep the wine sweet.

Or they would bury the bottles in the sand of the tuff caves and sprinkle them with water: as the water evaporated it cooled the bottles.

Is this trick enough of is there more to it?

In Piedmont we invented the method of repeated filtration of the musts to stop fermentation and preserve the typical aroma of the Moscato Bianco grape in the wine. And, as I said before, we were the first to use the cold to preserve the sweetness after filtering, thus producing a sweet, less alcoholic sparkling wine that produces exclusive bubbles containing the full aroma of the grape.

We Piedmontese producers of MOSCATO D’ASTI only use 100% Moscato Bianco, following the precise rules of cultivation of the DOCG guidelines: this is what incurs the higher costs.
What’s more, Natincò has its own original production method because it is a wine produced by an elite selection of cultivators from a clearly defined territory.

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