Alta Langa DOCG is Piemonte, Italy’s spumante, or sparkling wine designation.
While many new sparkling wine regions are popping up around the world, Piemonte has almost as long a history as Champagne of producing bubblies. Aside from Alta Langa DOCG, Piemonte also produces the spumante, ASTI DOCG.
Since the mid-19th century, Italian wine producers in this region have been creating sparkling wines made of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, using the Italian take on the Champagne method… the Piemontese Metodo Classico.
Alta Langa DOCG – Terminology references
- cuvée – first-pressed
- Metodo Classico – a sparkling wine that utilizes the bottle fermentation process, which originates from the Champagne region of France
- spumante – a sparkling dry or sweet wine
The strict regulations behind the Alta Langa DOCG have quickly helped it to gain in reputation in the last 20 years: the wines must be 100% Pinot Noir or Chardonnay (or a combination of the two), they must be aged on lees for at least 30 months, they must be vintage wines, and they must be brut or zero dosage.
The Alta Langa Consorzio, founded in 2001, worked quickly to get the DOC designation for Alta Langa in 2002, and then, building on the rising reputation of the wines, was able to apply for and receive DOCG designation in 2011.
Here are a few of my favorite producers of the Alta Langa DOCG:
Fontanafredda winery was originally bought by King Vittorio Emanuele II as a gift to his mistress Rosa Vercellana in 1858, and this love story has continued to pulse through the wines today.
Based in the Barolo region, they produce a number of wines, but were instrumental in creating the Alta Langa Spumante designation.
Visiting guests to the winery are surprised by the realization that Fontanafredda is its own self-contained village, with hotels, restaurants, and of course, numerous wine tastings and vineyard tours throughout the 122-hectare property.
Via Alba, 15 12050 – Serralunga d’Alba (CN), Italy
In the late nineteenth century, Giulio Cocchi was a pastry chef from Florence who moved to Asti, fell in love with a girl at a bar (still called Bar Cocchi now), and further fell in love with the sparkling and aromatized wines of the region.
He founded his namesake winery in 1891, and while Cocchi Americano is a bartender favorite nowadays, sparkling wines were always a focus of his.
In the 1970’s, the estate began producing a Spumante Brut Metodo Champenois, a top product and forerunner of the Alta Langa Metodo Classico Wines. The current owners of Giulio Cocchi, the Bava Family, continued his heritage of sparkling wine production, and were key players in pushing through the Alta Langa DOCG.
Giulio Cocchi Spumanti Srl
via Liprandi, 21 – 14023 Cocconato – Asti, Italy
Since 1878 Enrico Serafino has been making Metodo Classico sparkling wines in Canale d’Alba. Today it is still family owned and operated, continuing the tradition that Enrico started so long ago.
Their Alta Langa vineyard, La Soprana, is high in the hills and has very rocky, marl soils, which lead to low yields and help to concentrate the wines in the cellar.
The underground cellars at Enrico Serafino, which have existed since the very beginning, are still used to age the Metodo Classico wines, of which there are five different cuvees.
Enrico Serafino S.r.l. Azienda Vitivinicola
Corso Asti, 5 – 12043 Canale (CN), Italy
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