Photo Via Cadgal

I recently had the pleasure of tasting some exquisite wines steeped in centuries-long traditions. When I was invited to a Moscato d’Asti tasting, my anticipation soared. Moscato is a wine I adore but regrettably don’t indulge in often enough; the reasons elude me. Perhaps it’s the sweetness that I often cite as my go-to “excuse.” However, when presented with a meticulously crafted, high-quality Moscato d’Asti, my excuses vanish, replaced by an inclination to savor every drop.

Photo via Cadgal

This sentiment extends to Cadgal Moscato d’Asti, along with their new offerings, Sauvignon and Chardonnay. Our conversation with Alessandro Varagnolo, the winemaker and proprietor of Cadgal, illuminated his passion for wine, ignited during his attendance at wine events. After pursuing studies in business and economics, he realized, at the age of 29, his desire to anchor himself in his homeland, nurturing the dream of owning a winery was about to come true. This endeavor is a familial affair, with Alessandro’s wife overseeing the B&B and hospitality aspect while he tends to the winemaking. Nestled in a region boasting rich history, breathtaking vistas, warm hospitality, and exceptional wines, Cadgal beckons for a visit.

Cadgal includes two beautiful properties in Piedmont: Tenuta Valdivilla, which takes its name from the hamlet of Santo Stefano Belbo in the Langhe area, and Tenuta La Covain Calamandrana, in the heart of the Monferrato Asti area. Cadgal, once a fourth-generation family-owned winery, now embraces Alessandro as the torchbearer of a new legacy, along with Luca Caramellino, ushering forth new wines from this venerable familial establishment. His attraction to this winery stems from the allure of the Moscato grape. Surprisingly, even Alessandro admits to being unaware of its aging potential in the bottle—a revelation that adds to its allure, given its inherent sugar levels.

Seeking to revive traditions such as the Vite Vecchia, harkening back to the methods employed by his grandparents, Alessandro introduced us to Cadgal’s offerings, starting with the Sauvignon and Chardonnay before delving into the Asti Spumante and Moscatos. The Piemonte Sauvignon embodies a fusion of tradition and passion, its labels adorned by a local illustrator, each evocative of the region’s essence. Cadgal, translating to “home of the rooster,” proudly features this emblem on its label. The Chardonnay and Sauvignon originate from vineyards perched at 250 meters above sea level, expressing a signature freshness and elegance synonymous with the winery. The local terroir imbues these wines with a distinct character, a harmonious blend of tradition and international grape varieties, as elucidated by Alessandro. The Sauvignon captivates with delicate notes of white fruits and verdant nuances, while the Chardonnay reveals maturity with hints of passion fruit and banana—both wines, an ode to summertime indulgence.

Enthralling and beguiling, much like the winery’s labels and logo, Cadgal’s wines unfurl a sensory journey. Transitioning to the Moscato, anticipation brimmed as we sampled the Moscato d’Asti DOCG: LUMINE, its bouquet surprising with herbaceous and green apple aromas, followed by luscious peach and apricot notes—a delightful symphony of flavors. Balanced impeccably between freshness and sweetness, underscored by a subtle vegetal finish, it exudes charm. Our palates further delighted in the Moscato d’Asti Canelli DOCG: SANT’ILARIO, boasting elegance and nuances of peach, stone fruit, and creaminess—a playful concoction with enduring intensity, ideal for culinary pairings.

As mentioned earlier, a Moscato paying homage to tradition—the Moscato d’Asti DOCG: VITE VECCHIA—unveiled a tapestry of floral, citrus, mint, honey, and sage notes. This wine ages 60 months in sand, which leads to richness and a freshness that is unmatched by any other winery. Its equilibrium between sweetness and acidity, pivotal in Moscato, renders it complex yet delectable—a versatile companion to cheeses, desserts, and even sushi, cured meats, or foie gras—an intriguing prospect for aging, with the winery suggesting a lifespan of 15+ years.

Our tasting culminated with an Asti Spumante DOCG: Asti—an ethereal experience marked by freshness, personality, and persistent effervescence. Redolent with elderflower, citrus, herbs, peach, and white flower undertones, it epitomizes summer indulgence, especially when paired with fresh seafood.

These remarkable wines are readily available across numerous outlets in the US, both online and in-store, ensuring accessibility to their captivating history, flavors, and significance in the wine world—a testament to Cadgal’s enduring legacy and Alessandro’s visionary stewardship.

Always remember, eat what you like and drink what you love. Please pair responsibly!