The “Consorzio per la Tutela dell’ASTI” (Consortium for the Protection of ASTI wines) was officially founded on 17th December 1932 and recognized in 1934. It was originally called “Consorzio per la Difesa dei Vini Tipici MOSCATO d’ASTI Spumante and ASTI Spumante” (Consortium for the Protection of Typical MOSCATO d’ASTI Spumante and ASTI Spumante wines). Its trademark has always been the patron saint of Asti, Saint Secundus, on horseback. The Consorzio works to protect, develop and promote Asti and Moscato d’Asti in Italy and worldwide.
The Consorzio’s role also includes quality control along the entire production chain and monitoring the use of the designation name to prevent counterfeiting. Its Research Laboratory promotes and coordinates specific scientific studies and innovative technologies to continuously improve the production process as a whole.
The Consorzio coordinates and promotes activities valorizing the area of origin of Moscato Bianco grapes, whose cultivation covers 10,000 hectares across 52 municipalities of the provinces of Alessandria, Asti, and Cuneo. More than 1,400 ha have a gradient over 40%, with 330 ha of this area over 50% – these are vineyards historically named “sorì“, where no mechanical equipment can be used and vines are tended exclusively by hand.
Asti Spumante is also the name of one of the five Core Zones of the vineyard landscapes of Langhe-Roero and Monferrato, a UNESCO World Heritage site.
In February 2012 the Consorzio received an important recognition from the Italian Ministry of Agricultural, Food and Forestry Policies (Ministerial Decree no. 1778 dated 27th January 2012), becoming the only agency entrusted with essential functions envisaged under the legislation governing the production of protected wines, namely:
• provide technical assistance, draw up study proposals and business and economic assessments to enhance the value of the Designation;
• protect and safeguard the Designation from violations, unfair competition, and wine fraud;
• carry out activities involving protection, promotion, consumer information and general protection of the interests of the Designation on behalf of all the members included in the Designation surveillance systems;
• implement supply control policies to improve the coordination of market access for the Designation, after consulting the industry representatives;
• define plans to improve product quality;
• act in administrative and judicial courts, in Italy and abroad, to protect and safeguard the Designation and to protect the interests and rights of the producers;
• perform surveillance activities, mainly in the market.