The estate dates back to 1785 when the Beras’ ancestors originally purchased some of the land from the Knights of Malta. By this time, the cultivation of grapes—and in this area particularly Moscato grapes—was already well-established since the 13th century (and once again we are indebted to those reviled Crusaders for their faithful spreading of the word “Grape” to every corner of the known world they traveled!). By the end of the 18th century and into the 19th and 20th centuries, the fame of Moscato (read: Asti Spumante) spread worldwide—and so did slipshod production methods. With few exceptions, the bulk standardization of this wine has been the norm ever since. The Family Vittorio Bera is different. This was the first estate to bottle and market its own wine in the Canelli region. The estate lies in Sant’Antonio di Canelli within the region of Serra Masio, the most prestigious and ancient of the area’s Moscato production. The grapes are entirely Muscat Blanc à Petits Grains and are cultivated on steep, southeast slopes of calcerous marl soil of ancient oceanic origins. All of the estate is cultivated in organic viticulture with an emphasis on creating an active, healthy ecosystem. All grapes are harvested by hand and their juice is fermented without yeast inoculations. All the winemaking is done by Alessandra’s brother, Gianluigi Bera They also grow Dolcetto and Barbera grapes—planted more recently, but cultivated using the same careful techniques as for the Moscato. With the reds there is no fining or filtration. And some precocious white grapes: Cortese, Favorita and Arneis which they blend to make a fantastic white wine called Arcese.
The Bera Moscato may be the only Moscato d’Asti made without the use of selected yeasts and vinified simply on its native yeast culture. This is a remarkable Moscato: fresh and bright with a lovely petillance but with far more breadth and depth than your average Moscato. There is a core of rich, tropical fruit (mango and papaya) as well as a broad mid-palate that distinguishes the Bera from other Moscatos. Organic.
“The 2010 Moscato d’Asti from Vittorio Berra e Figli is superb, as it soars from the glass in a deep and vibrant nose of pears, casaba melon, musky floral tones, beautifully complex minerality, coriander and orange zest. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied and dancing on the palate, with beautiful complexity, fine mid-palate depth, bright acids and a lovely touch of frothy mousse on the long, bouncy and very classy finish. Just a beautiful bottle of Moscato d’Asti, which shows just beautiful texture on the palate. 2012-2014. 93.”
-John Gilman, View From The Cellar, January-February, 2012, Issue #37