"Towards an increasingly recognizable territory and new markets to build"

Barbera 2.0 is the name of the project signed by the Barbera d'Asti e Vini del Monferrato Consortium in collaboration with the Department of Agricultural, Forestry and Food Sciences of the University of Turin .

A study started in 2017 aimed at identifying the oenological peculiarities of Barbera d'Asti in its vast cultivation areas, equal to 5,425 hectares, which represent 12% of the entire Piedmontese vineyard. A very wide extension, widespread between 116 Municipalities of the province of Asti (4,540 ha) and 51 of the province of Alessandria (885 ha), which has stimulated a question: it is possible to characterize the wines produced on the basis of oenological peculiarities attributable to specific areas within the denomination? Hence the suggestion of ideally dividing the territory of the appellation itself into uniform areas, to which to attribute, through a scientific analysis of the wines produced, chemical values and sensory profiles of reference to which producers, communicators, consumers and enthusiasts can contact with confidence and safety.

A work that started with the finding of 111 labels under examination, 82 of Barbera d'Asti Docg and 29 Barbera d'Asti Docg Superiore, with 5 blind tasting sessions and anonymized bottles . A way to elaborate an analytical framework capable of restoring all the complexity of Barbera, which changes in chemical and organoleptic nuances according to the area of origin, a sign of great richness and versatility of such an identity vine.

From an oenological characterization point of view, the correlation between the sensory profiles of Barbera d'Asti and the chemical-physical characteristics has led to the production of useful data for the classification of wines. From a territorial characterization point of view, which took place in the first place with the division of the production area into territories distinguished by production homogeneity and comparable pedoclimatic conditions, micro-vinifications were instead carried out on samples from 13 different areas represented by as many vineyards , which have led to the identification of peculiar and distinctive characteristics in order to favor a characterization of the denomination on the basis of homogeneous areas, each defined thanks to the chemical and sensory characteristics of the wines produced.

The results, in addition to delineating an even more detailed mapping of the areas of Barbera d'Asti, opening new spaces for enhancement and communication for the future, will also serve to support new studies in oenological research starting from an area and a denomination appreciated throughout. the world . A project realized thanks to the important support of the Piedmont Region and the Cassa di Risparmio di Asti Foundation , which confirm that they believe in and invest in research by supporting concrete interventions that virtuously fall on companies and the productive fabric of the territory.

" Research, innovation and knowledge are necessary not only to optimize crops, but also to reach ever higher quality levels - declares Filippo Mobrici , President of the Barbera d'Asti and Vini del Monferrato Consortium - This project, realized thanks to the important support of Piedmont Region and the Cassa di Risparmio di Asti Foundation, which confirm that they believe in and invest in research by supporting concrete interventions that have a virtuous impact on companies and the productive fabric of the territory, is the largest research project that has involved the world of Barbera d'Asti, after the one on indigenous yeasts which led to the selection of some high-profile strains for use in our cellars. The protection of the territory and the enhancement of its assets also pass through operations of this type ».

" The Cassa di Risparmio di Asti Foundation supported this project of the Consortium aimed at characterizing and enhancing Barbera, a symbolic wine and a driving product for viticulture and the economy of our territory where companies have contributed to raising its quality and image »Asserts Mario Sacco , President of the Cassa di Risparmio di Asti Foundation .

" The characterization project took three years of intense work and operationally divided into two phases - explains Vincenzo Gerbi , Full Professor of Oenology at the University of Turin - The first was a survey of the Barbera d'Asti Docg wines on the market , to carry out a general survey of the product; the second is that of micro-vinification in uniform conditions, to bring out only the characteristics of the territory of origin of the grapes, effectively eliminating the intervention of the single company. The results show a high and rather uniform quality of the grapes, but different characters of expression, a sign of the great versatility of the vine. This, in practical terms, can allow producers to have more spaces for commercial planning, to intercept market segments that can accommodate a single expression of wine. Furthermore, from a scientific point of view, we had the opportunity to expand the Barbera d'Asti database, useful for future research developments ».