100% Muscat à Petits Grains. Moscato d'Asti is the soul of Bera, and Bera is a part of the heart of Moscato d'Asti, having been the first estate in Canelli to bottle its own wine in 1964. Moscato d'Asti is half of the 12-hectare estate's annual production.
A few factors distinguish the Bera approach, starting with the fact that they focus on the quality of the vineyard work and the fruit (absolutely not the typical approach to this commercially oriented category of wine). The vines average 40 years old and consist of only the finest sub-variety of Muscat, known as Petits Grains. The farming has been chemical-free for its entire history but is also now certified-organic; the growing is natural in every way, with an emphasis on biodiversity, fostered by wild, unseeded cover crops of herbs, flowers and légumes between the rows. The exposure of the steep slopes is south-southeast, so the grapes can be fully ripened, while also maintaining freshness, thanks to notably calcareous soils and a strong winds that temper the heat and keep the fruit healthy. Yields are quite low, and harvest is by hand, with rigorous sorting in the vineyard, into small bins. The high ripeness combined with high acidity is vital to the character of this wine.
Fermentation takes place spontaneously with native yeasts--Bera is the only Moscato d'Asti maker who ferments naturally---and without temperature control or sulfur. The wine is not sterile-filtered like most Moscato d'Asti base wine at this stage; instead, it is aged on its lees at cold temperatures in tank. When it is time to bottle a batch of Moscato d'Asti, the tank is gently brought up in temperature to kick-start a secondary fermentation; when it hits the appropriate 5.5% alcohol level, the wine is gently filtered, lightly sulfured (a DOCG requirement) and re-chilled to settle in a pressurized tank. The sparkling wine is bottled after a couple of weeks of "rest" in tank. The end result is the most vinous, textured, complex, gently bubbly version of Moscato d'Asti to be found.