The history and fortunes of the small town of Strevi, within a UNESCO World Heritage site, have long been linked to wine, particularly Moscato. According to historical documents, the Bagnario Valley—the top cru around Strevi—can be identified as the birthplace of Moscato Passito. This wine and the unusual grape-drying technique adopted to make it are among the oldest in Piedmont, with written evidence testifying to a “fortified sacramental wine” being vinified by local monks as far back as 1078.
To make Moscato Passito, the best of the harvest—the healthiest and loosest bunches—is selected and packed into crates. The grapes are then laid out on racks in the open air to dry, and carefully covered at night. When the bunches have lost more than half their weight, the grapes are pressed and the resulting must is left to ferment with some of the skins in order to extract the variety’s typical flavors and fragrances. After aging in wood barrels for at least 12 months, the wine can maintain its soundness and potency for decades.
The Bagnario Valley was once known ironically as the “valley of the sheikhs” because its winemakers were the richest in the area, thanks to the quality of their Moscato fruit. Harvested from steep vineyards planted with old vines, these aromatic grapes boast an incredible equilibrium of flavor, rich but never cloying.
Moscato Passito wine is golden-yellow, with hints of amber. On the palate it has a sweet, harmonious flavor with prevailing notes of ripe fruit. But despite its prized characteristics, Strevi Moascato Passito is at risk of disappearing, with profits too low to justify the hard work required to produce it.
The grapes are harvested manually between the end of August and the middle of September. The wine can be released on the market two years after vinification.
Bagnario Valley, Strevi municipality, Alessandria province
Azienda Agricola Bagnario
di Giampaolo Ivaldi
Valle Bagnario, 47
Tel.+39 348 0772729
Azienda Agricola Marenco
Piazza Vittorio Emanuele II, 10
Tel.+39 335 5300068
Bragagnolo Vini Passiti
di Silvio Bragagnolo
Regione Bagnario, 33
Tel.+39 339 4100056
Cà di Ciculdi Carla Cristina Salina
Località Cavannore, 19
Valle BagnarioStrevi (Al)
Tel.+39 331 8148303
Valle Bagnario, 43
Tel.+39 348 4915998