The character of Asti DOCG wines reflects, with particular fidelity, the essence of the landscape they hail from and the spirit of the people who craft them: refined yet approachable, unpretentious yet sophisticated. The region truly comes to life in late summer and autumn, while the harvest is in full swing and countless cultural and gastronomic events are taking place. Nestled in the heart of Piedmont, the Asti comune is the perfect destination for lovers of food, wine, history and nature, eager to enjoy authentic experiences hosted by people who are, above all, passionate about the beauty and richness of their land and heritage – without ever losing a sense of fun!
Exploring a unique landscape
At the centre of the Asti comune is the town itself. Its picturesque centre – perfect for a relaxed stroll and shopping tour, followed by an aperitivo – is the setting for the famous Palio di Asti, a bareback horse race held each year on the third Sunday of September to commemorate the town’s Medieval victory over the nearby city of Alba. Today, the Palio is still an occasion for celebration, and can also serve as inspiration to explore the region’s hills – awarded UNESCO World Heritage status in 2014 – on horseback. The experts at Landscape Storymovers offer tailored rides, ending with a wine tasting and picnic.
The comune’s landscape, singular for its silver-pink light and rolling slopes sculpted by sinuous vineyards, is indeed best explored at a slower pace. There are multiple trekking routes for avid walkers – not least the Ultra Trail del Moscato, a tough but beautiful 106-kilometre route through the vineyards, with gentler variations for hikers of all experience levels. But cycling has become the region’s flagship mode of exploration: an array of routes take bikers through the hills of Langhe, Roero and Monferrato and its multiple quaint villages, either self-guided or under the guidance of local tour organisers, who also offer rental bikes and e-bikes (which can be charged at the Asti Consortium’s goblet-shaped charging points).
At the end of a long day of riding, walking or cycling it won’t be hard to find a place for a well-deserved glass of Asti Spumante DOCG or Moscato d’Asti DOCG alongside delicious Piedmontese nibbles.
At the heart of Piedmont, Asti is the quintessential foodie destination. True to the relaxed sophistication that has made the regions’ wines famous all over the world, the offering is diverse but shares a common ethos: laidback attention to detail paired with top-quality ingredients and a genuine spirit of hospitality.
This is precisely what you will find at both Angolo del Beato and Vicolo Battisti, two very different but equally highly- regarded venues in Asti’s historic old town. While the latter offers some of the region’s best cured meats and pizzas, the former strikes a perfect balance between luxury and simplicity. Also in Asti, Assetati, an enoteca and wine bar, is compulsory stop for wine geeks, who can choose from over 100 by-the-glass options. Visitors can then head to the recently-opened I Bùgianèn, a modern trattoria with a fresh take on local cuisine and an exquisitely curated list of Moscato d’Asti.
Meanwhile, producer Roberto Sarotto has restored a 13th-century structure in the centre of Neviglie (Langhe) and created the aptly named Centro Storico, where traditional Piedmontese dishes are offered alongside a comprehensive Piedmont-focused wine list. Another interesting venue housed in a revamped architecture jewel is Tra la Terra e Il Cielo: one can enjoy traditional local cuisine in the 14th-century castle while soaking in dramatic views over the hills and vineyards.
A trip to Asti would not be complete without a visit to one of the region’s wine producers, custodians and ambassadors of the area’s history, stories and landscapes. In Canelli, home of breathtaking cellars known as ‘underground cathedrals’ (also a UNESCO World Heritage site since 2014), the Bosca and Coppo wineries can guide you through one of the wine world’s most beautiful architectural gems. If looking for a more vineyard-focused visit, Poderi Roccanera offers a complete harvest experience that takes visitors through all winemaking stages.
These are, however, three humble suggestions among so many other possibilities… With over 3,000 producers across 51 villages, the comune is teeming with winemakers eager to share their craft and inviting you to experience the ‘Asti vibe’.
Where to stay
There are multiple accommodation options in Asti, many of which are nestled in the region’s rolling hills. From farmhouses to boutique hotels, among the most characterful are:
Relais Villa Prato Mombaruzzo – owned by renowned grappa producer Berta, Villa Prato offers spacious rooms, a spa and an open-air pool for a truly luxurious experience.
La Giribaldina Winery & Farmhouse – the ideal place to relax among woods and vineyards.
Il Villagio Narrante – not just a place to stay but an unmissable experience, this unique ‘village’ encompasses four historic renovated buildings, offering boutique accommodation, the Fontanafredda winery, the relaxed Osteria Disguido and the Michelin-starred Guidoristorante.
Locanda Cossetti – a place to really switch off and enjoy the pleasures of authentic wine, cuisine and country living. And a great option for horse riding enthusiasts.
Villa Pattono – with spectacular views of the surrounding vineyards, this 18th-century stately home offers the ultimate boutique experience, as each room and view is unique.
Marenco – known for its excellent wines (including the award-winning Moscato d’Asti), this estate has recently renovated some rooms in one of the property’s farmhouses, with an adjacent pool – ideal for families.
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