There are three styles of Brachetto d’Acqui, including the red wine (the so-called “straight-corked” version), the spumante and the passito. The official recognition came in 1996 – thanks to the Consortium created to promote the wine – when the Brachetto producers were awarded the prestigious DOCG (Controlled and Guaranteed Designation of Origin) status. The DOCG designation also helped define the wine more precisely from a legal and administrative standpoint, distinguishing it from other products.
The production method utilized for almost all Brachetto d’Acqui (with the exception of handful of niche producers) is commonly known as Charmat, or Martinotti, and was invented at the close of the nineteenth century by Federico Martinotti, then the Director of the Asti Institute of Experimental Oenology.
In this process, fermentation occurs in a pressurized tank, at controlled temperatures, for a period of 30 days, during which the sugars in the must are transformed into alcohol and carbon dioxide by the yeasts. The product is then immediately bottled and marketed.