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.
Flourishing vineyards clothing verdant hills
A magical territory, with infinite variations of climate, soil and exposure, makes Brachetto d’Acqui a fine wine, cultivated with care and easily overseen by the Consortium that guarantees its quality.
The southeast of the Piedmont, at a latitude of 45° N, is where the “aromatic hills” are located. A climate typical of the foothills of the Alps, marked by fairly harsh winters, hot summers and usually mild springs and autumns, with a considerable difference in temperature between day and night ensure that the grapes achieve the right sugar content and develop the aromatic compounds that give Brachetto its delicate and intense fragrance.
The Upper Monferrato is characterized by a very complex orography, resulting in highly differentiated microclimates. The characteristics of aromatic wines depend heavily on factors such as the altitude of the vineyards, their exposure, the degree of absorption of moisture and heat and their proximity to a river.
The nature of the soil is also fundamental, as it determines the contents of the individual grapes and their chemical composition. This area contains different kinds of terroir: white soils, rich in calcareous content, which yield very fine, elegant wines; red soils, which highlight the body, color and alcohol content; sandy soils, which produce lighter, more fragrant wines.
What makes Brachetto stand apart is just this complex and delicate system that governs its cultivation, in which each component plays a significant influence on the final product. Nature and the hand of man combine to satisfy taste, passion and desire.
A red varietal
One of the best-kept secrets of the Piedmont region of northern Italy is a luscious red varietal called Brachetto. A sweet, aromatic red, Brachetto is a light-colored wine with distinctive aroma, moderate alcohol and a refreshing sparkle. It is made using only the healthiest grape clusters, the lightest pressing, the choicest juice.
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.