For almost twenty years, the association of Moscato di Canelli producers has been trying to get its own DOCG recognised. After a complicated official procedure, the wine commission at the Ministry of Agriculture has now granted the application. Canelli is no longer a subzone of Asti and Moscato d'Asti DOCG, but the 78th DOCG in Italy.
With 19 DOCGs, the Piedmont region provides the highest number of the top category "Denominazione di origine controllata e garantita". The Canelli DOCG must be 100 percent Moscato Bianco, and it may only be grown in 18 communes in the two provinces of Asti and Cuneo; the wines of the Asti DOCG can come from 23 communes.
In total, there are only 100 hectares available, and the production of Canelli currently amounts to about 500,000 bottles. In the DOCG Canelli, only manual harvesting is allowed, and the vineyards must be in hilly areas between 165 and 500 metres. The maximum yield is 9.5 tonnes per hectare, half a tonne less than in the large DOCG.
Canelli is considered the cradle of Italian sparkling wine production. After years of apprenticeship in Champagne, Carlo Gancia experimented with bottle fermentation from 1850 and invented "Moscato Champagne" around 1865. Canelli's kilometre-long underground wine cathedrals of traditional wineries such as Gancia, Bosca, Contratto and Coppo have been UNESCO World Heritage Sites since 2014. vc