The aromatic wine known as Brachetto d’Acqui DOCG, in both ‘spumante’ and straight cork versions, is made from Brachetto grapes. Its homeland is in the Piedmont, in an area of steep-sloped hills that is particularly fertile and well-suited to grapevines: the Upper Monferrato, including 26 municipalities clustered around Acqui Terme, between the provinces of Asti and Alessandria.
Since Roman times…
In describing the customs of ancient southern Gaul, mention is made of a sweet, aromatic wine, the so-called Vinum Acquense, much prized by patricians. This was almost certainly a wine made with raisins, to which miraculous aphrodisiacal properties were ascribed. So much so that Julius Caesar, and after him Mark Anthony, regaled Cleopatra with various wineskins of the stuff, which she reputedly dosed out to her lovers to rouse their passions.
The Consortium for the Protection of Acqui Wines was officially formed in 1992 in Acqui Terme, for the purpose of controlling and regulating the growth of this wine and protecting its territory, by programming its production, increasing its sales and promoting and enhancing its value in markets throughout the world. As well as Brachetto d’Acqui DOCG, the Consortium also promotes Dolcetto DOC.
The Brachetto d’Acqui vineyards are cultivated by more than 750 vine-growers, for an average of roughly 1.8 hectares each. The regulations define the yield per hectare as 80 quintals (1 quintal = 100 kg), which translates into a potential production of about 8 million bottles.
The Consortium includes 17 production companies, 17 cooperative cellars and 25 bottling companies. The Cooperative Cellars hold 60% of the pressed grapes, while the area’s spumante companies market and sell Brachetto d’Acqui in Italy and abroad.
Serve it chilled in wide glasses
Pleasantly lively and aromatic, Brachetto is sweet and has a low alcohol content (5.5% - 7% vol.). Brachetto d’Acqui DOCG is excellent by itself, but can also be used as a cocktail ingredient. A refreshing aperitif, Brachetto d’Acqui is also an ideal accompaniment to foods. From hors d’oeuvres to dessert, from chocolate to piquant cheeses, the fruit-laden silkiness of the wine bursts upon the palate in a cascade of intriguing and appealing sensations that heighten the aromas and flavors of the foods it accompanies. It can be added to fruit cocktails and used to enrich gelatins or to add an intriguing touch to various desserts, like eggnog (zabaione) and sorbets. It is also prized as an ingredient in various mixed drinks, together with fruit juice, spirits, bitters and vermouth.
It should be served chilled, at a temperature of 8°C - 12°C, in wide glasses that let the drinker fully appreciate the development of the wine’s bouquet; if properly stored, the wine retains its characteristics for over two years.
Brachetto d’Acqui stands out for its organoleptic properties too thanks to the elegant fragrance of the grapes and the splendid color purple or ruby with violet highlights. Its delicate fragrance is remondful of roses and wild strawberries. The natural aroma is produced by the terpenes present in Brachetto grapes: geraniol, nerol and citronellol.
The presence of polyphenols and the low alcohol content make Brachetto a sparkling wine that can be enjoyed “lightheartedly” thanks to the beneficial effects that polyphenols have on the vines, as well as on our health: anti-tumoral, cardioprotective, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial.