In the local dialect of old rural Piedmont the word "beni", meaning "property, assets", has always been used with a slightly different meaning, denoting not only the farming land belonging to large landowners, but also small-holdings: "andè' nti beni" means going out into the fields or the vineyards to work or to give instruction. Nourishment comes from the land - the asset par excellence - and the soul of the farmer, who
identifies himself with his property, is inextricably tied to the land.
The "Beni di Batasiolo", the amphitheatre of vineyards surrounding Batasiolo's cellars, was the original setting for their company. Over the years other farms - other "properties" - have been added to this nucleus, and now the estate covers nearly one hundred hectares of vineyards, making it one of the largest farming concerns in the Langhe.
Learn More About Muscat
Sweet & Sticky
The Muscat grape is one of the oldest grape varieties known to the wine world.
Instead of being just one grape, Muscat encompasses a family of grapes, found in a range of hues - from
white to brown to near black. The two best-known clones are Muscat Blanc a Petits Grains (Muscat blanc for short)
and Muscat of Alexandria. The Muscat blanc grape is the oldest variety and creates the most concentrated grape
flavors. Small in size, Muscat blanc is not always white and it can produce both dry and sweet wines. Muscat of
Alexandria is larger and often darker than the Muscat Blanc, and creates wines of intense sweetness.
Muscat Blanc is the Moscato used in
for Moscato d'Asti and Spumante, both light and fizzy wines.
It also creates the Muscat d'Alsace of
France, which is often made in the dry style. Muscat Blanc can
also be found in the deliciously sweet wines of Beaumes-de-Venise in the south of France. The Muscat of
Alexandria is responsible for the “stickies” of
as well as the Muscats of Portugal and South Africa.
California also has a hold on producing sweet dessert wines from Muscat.
Summing it up
Successful Sites: France, Italy, Australia, South Africa, Portugal, United States
Common Descriptors: grapey, musky, orange peel
Learn More About Piedmont, Italy
Piedmont is located in the Northwest area of Italy, hugging the Mediterranean coast. The regional capital, Turin, is situated smack in the middle of the province. Being close to the alps, the area enjoys a high altitude, with the best vineyards benefiting from the hills and elevation. Known for its famous sub-districts, Piedmont delivers some of the most distinctive, high-quality, ageable wine of Italy. Most popular are the DOCG districts Barolo and Barbaresco, producing Nebbiolo-based wine of the same name. Two other DOCGs of note are Gattinara and Gheme – both make wine from Nebbiolo and are typically earlier to drink but more rustic than their Barolo and Barberesco partners. City-districts in the DOC category include Alba and Asti, where wine like Dolcetto d'Alba and Barbera d'Asti is made, putting the grape name before the town.
Not just regulated to red wine, Piedmont also produces some notable whites, particularly those near the district of Gavi and Asti. Gavi produces still white wine from the Cortese grape. The wine is dry with a crisp, citrus-like acidity – fairly neutral but pleasant. Arneis is another grape/wine made in the area, creating a fuller wine that displays some nuttiness in the aroma and taste. Asti is well known for its sparkling wine – in particular Asti Spumante and Moscato d'Asti. Asti Spumante is typically higher in alcohol, sweetness & fizziness, while its higher-class cousin, Mostcato d'Asti, contains lower alcohol levels, a few less bubbles, and a more restrained and delicate representation of Moscato fruit.