One of the best meetings I had while in Piedmont was my private tour of the Ascheri winery in Bra, Italy.
I was fortunate enough to have it organized for me through Martignetti's due to my work with the distributor. I entered behind the gates that day located right in the city center and it opened up to this square which contained the Ascheri's operations. The owner, Matteo, pleasantly greeted me at the door and gave me a brief introduction of the Ascheri winery. This winery has been in the Ascheri family for 6 generations. They produce about 240,000 bottles. Matteo then introduced me to the winemaker, Giuliano Bedino, who then took me on a tour of the winery.
At that point, which was the second week of October, they had just finished picking the week prior and were cleaning out the tanks of the skins. The decision to pick the grapes is decided by Giuliano, Matteo and occasionally an outside expert. They have 20 people on hand at all times to be ready for harvest. We moved on to where all the barrels were with the names on the outside like Fontanelle (where they grow their Barbara grapes) and Sorano (Giuliano's favorite area for the nebbiolo grapes that make up their Barolo).
Visiting the wine cellars is always one of my favorite parts. I love seeing rows and rows of wines stocked, some covered in dust, that have been aging and sitting for years or decades. So much history in one place. The Ascheri wine cellar was beautiful surrounding a huge tree displayed as art to represent what used to exist in that space. Following, I toured the bottling facility that bottles 3,000 wine bottles an hour. Seems like a tons of bottles, huh? The reason for processing at that rate is because it avoids oxidation of the wine.
We finished with Giuliano in the tasting room to sample the fantastic wines that Matteo, Giuliano and their team worked hard to produce. I sampled everything from their dolcetto, barbera, arneis to nebbiolo including a couple barolos. There is nothing like topping off a tasting with a dessert wine as well and I sampled their Moscato d'Asti, which Giuliano signed for me to take home. I love collecting the bottles that I have had signed by winemakers or owners or those that I have taken back from Italy so that I can use them in designing my bar in my basement.
I have so many more stories and great pictures to share from my travels so I hope you are enjoying the journey! As always I love to hear of your Italian travels and great wines you have tasted and people you have met, so don't be shy.
Jennifer's blog post was originally published on her blog Vino Travels and is republished on Wine Pass with her permission.