"Sweet passion" - that is what drives the Barbero family and their wines. In September, just before the harvest, the golden Moscato vineyards of Cascina Fonda stretch out like a brightly-coloured blanket on the hills of Mango and Neive in Asti.
Founded by Secondino Barberao in 1963, the azienda is now run by his two sons, Massimo and Marco. The greatest challenge they faced was building the capital to invest in their own winery in order to produce their sparkling Moscato in house. Finally, in 1991, this became a reality, and the brothers have been creating stunning sweet wines since then.
The south-east facing vineyards lie at 300m to 500m above sea level, an altitude which provides a fresh and temperate climate, aiding the phenolic development of the grapes. The system of pruning is the traditional Guyot method - low ark - in order to give a medium to low yield (70/90 ql/ha). These techniques contribute to the rich, concentrated aromas in the wines.
One of the real triumphs of the Barbero brother's dedication to the Moscato variety has been the creation of the Driveri Asti - a bottle-fermented Moscato d'Asti that can only be achieved in the very best vintages. Their passion for this product lies behind their belief that the individual aromatics and flavours of the Moscato grape are emphasized and truly brought to the fore by bottle fermentation. This wine is the Champagne of Asti! Classic, or traditional method Moscato is a rare occurrence, and only 3000 bottles of this wine is made a year by Cascina Fonda. Extra depth of flavour is given by first fermenting the Moscato grapes in barrique; the secondary fermentation then takes place in the bottle, where the wine rests for two years on the lees before disgorgement. Dosage comes in the form of wine made from late-harvested Moscato grapes. Driveri has a wonderful, complex nose, with aromas of candied peel, dried fig and tropical fruits. The mousse is delicate and creamy, and the sweetness is matched perfectly by a crisp, zesty acidity.