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Franciacorta

DOCG area for spumante (sparkling wine) in the Italian region of Lombardy. It was created in 1995. The still wines that were not classified were first grouped together in the DOC area Terre di Franciacorta, which was later renamed Curtefranca to avoid the frequent confusion with the DOCG area. The zone identical with Curtefranca with about 2.The 800 hectares of vineyards cover the municipalities of Adro, Capriolo, Cellatica, Corte Franca, Erbusco, Gussago, Iseo, Monticelli Brusati, Ome, Paderno Franciacorta, Paratico, Passirano, Provaglio d'Iseo and Rodengo-Saiano, as well as parts of Brescia, Cazzago San Martino, Coccaglio, Cologne and Rovato, on the southern edge of Lake Iseo in the province of Brescia.

Franciacorta Weinberg - Blick auf die Gemeinde Erbusco

The name comes from the Latin term "francae curtes" for the tax exemption of the local monasteries and convents. Because of its excellent sparkling wine, the area is also known as the "Champagne of Italy". The fame was founded by the young winemaker Franco Ziliani, who had learned in the champagne house Moët et Chandon. In 1961 he started producing sparkling wine at the Guido Berlucchi winery as cellar master and soon attracted attention with its quality. Many wineries followed, today there are about a hundred.

This sparkling wine was the very first DOCG classified spumante in Italy, produced exclusively by means of Metodo classico (i.e. bottle fermentation). There are three variants of this. The Franciacorta is made from Chardonnay and/or Pinot Nero(Pinot Noir), as well as a maximum of 50% Pinot Bianco(Pinot Blanc), if necessary. It must be stored on the yeast for at least 18 months. The Franciacorta Rosé must contain at least 25% Pinot Noir. Since 2017, a maximum of 10% of the autochthonous variety Erbamat may also be used here. It must be stored on the yeast for 24 months. Pinot Noir is not permitted for the production of Franciacorta Satèn (dialect expression for "velvety" or "silky", formerly Crémant). It must also be stored on the yeast for 24 months. For all three wines, the alcohol content must be at least 11.5% vol.

A Millesimato (vintage sparkling wine) is available from all three types. It is obtained from high quality grapes of special vintages (85% of a vintage). It has to mature on the yeast for at least 30 months. There is also a Riserva of all three wines. These must be stored on the lees for 60 months. The Satén is produced only in "brut", the other two in dosaggio zero, extra brut, brut and extra dry.

Among the most famous producers are Al Rocol, Antica Fratta, Bellavista, Berlucchi, Bersi Serlini, Ca' del Bosco, Castellino, Cavalleri, Cornaleto, Faccoli, Gatti, Lantieri de Paratico, Marchiopolo, Monte Rossa, La Montina, Barone Pizzini, Plozza, Uberti, Villa Franciacorta and Vezzoli.

Picture: By Bertazzonipaolo - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

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