Friday, April 16, 2010

A Tour and Tasting @ La Caudrina

Gianni was right the Muscato and the Asti Spumante were some of the best that I have everr tasted. Both would serve perfectly as dessert wines with some salty cheeses, the were light on hte pallet but intensely sweet with a very pale yellow coloring. We couldn't help but pick up a bottle of the spumante, the favorite of the day. The Vinyard produces about 150,000 bottles of the two types and it is truely the best. It was a very small vinyard by comparison to the others in the area only 27 Hectares but they have a much larger outfit in another part of the piedmont region. It is a family affair with Mom and Pop overseeing the whole operation and each of the three sons oversees the different aspects of the business; marketing, cultivation and Cellars. They live in a beautiful house that sits on top of the hill that makes up the vinyard. Unfortunately the plants are just starting to get going on the season so they all looked like stumps with a few spindly sticks sticking out of them but the view was second to none from the top of that little hill. We learned how the process of making the wine differs from the production of other wines. First of all When they Harvest the grapes they are immediately crushed and the must goes into large holding tanks where it is kept at -2 degrees C. This prevents any unwanted fermentation. The juice is Kept in these storage tanks until it is needed. Then it is put into the fermentation tanks where it is heated to 20 degrees C and the Yeast is added and it is left to ferement for four to five days. A note Moscato and Asti Spumante are made from the same grape. After it is bottled they add different pressures of CO2 gass to the Bottles the Moscato get 1-1.5 Bar (about twice 14.2 PSI which is normal Atmospheric Pressure) and the Asti Spumanti gets 5 Bar( about six times normal atmospheric pressure. This is what causes the bubbles. The bottles are racked to age and wait to see if there are any defects in the wine. Then is is labled and moved to the Cellar where it is rotated in the Method Champagnios even though they cant call it that. This process Produces a D.O.C.G Spumanti d'Asti or Moscato d'Asti. So the method and origins of these fine wines are protected by the Government and therefore must strictly adhere to the regions laws for making the wine because the end product is guaranteed.

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