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Alta Langa DOCG

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Categories: Sparkling Wine

With a sparkling wine history that extends back to the mid-19th century, the Alta Langa DOCG is Italy’s premier — if also least well-known — appellation for methodo classico, champagne-style sparkling wine. Classic brut and brut rosé are made exclusively from Chardonnay and Pinot Nero; brut zero and extra brut versions are produced as well. The grapes are hand-harvested from steep, terraced vineyards at altitudes above 250 meters south of the Tanaro River. Soils are calcario: the limestone/clay marl that the region is famous for. Never chaptalized, Alta Langa is aged for a minimum of 30 months on the lees — 36 months for its reservas — prior to disgorgement. Production remains small and artisanal in character: In 2011, the appellation released just 650,000 bottles (compared to Franciacorta’s 6.7 and Champagne’s 300 million annual averages). Only vintage wines can be bottled under its aegis, making the Alta Langa DOCG one of the most stringent sparkling wine appellations in the world.