Franciacorta: 10 Things to Know about the Wine
When it comes to celebrating Champagne has been the long-time standby, but in the past ten years, a newcomer to the Sparkling scene has been making waves. Italy’s Franciacorta is from the northern part of Italy.
So pop and bottle and celebrate these ten facts about Franciacorta that you probably didn’t know.
No. 1 | It’s Nicknamed “Italian Champagne”
Italy’s answer to Champagne, it is made using the traditional method, exclusively from grapes grown in the Franciacorta wine zone.
No. 2 | It can be a Single-Varietal or a Blended Wine
Chardonnay, Pinot Nero, Pinot Bianco (up to 50% allowed) and now, since 2017, Erbamat (up to 10%), a local grape, can be used.
No. 3 | There’s a Wine for Every Taste
There are five types, with different aging and dosage requirements: Franciacorta (18 months), Saten (24 months), Rose (24 months), Franciacorta Millesimato (30 months), and Franciacorta Riserva (60 months).
No. 4 | It’s Cellar Worthy
Franciacorta can stand up to long cellaring, which can help develop flavor and depth over time.
No. 5 | There are a Lot of Steps to Make the wine
Franciacorta requires certain measures be taken to ensure quality wines are produced – hand-harvest in late August, soft pressing of the entire clusters, primary fermentation of a base wine, the creation of a cuvée, tirage (bottling of the blended wine), secondary fermentation and horizontal aging for a minimum of 18-60 months with remuage, degorgement (removing dead lees), dosage and proper labeling.
No. 6 | The Region has a Focus on Green Practices
Franciacorta and its winemakers actively participate in sustainable practices, aiming to preserve and enhance the area’s natural resources, through strict rules set by the Terre di Franciacorta in association with some government health and environmental (ASL and ARPA) agencies.
No. 7 | The Region has been Producing Wine for Centuries
The area was once an important winemaking zone and was known as Franzacurta, which dates back to 1277, referring to the area south of Lake Iseo, between the Oglio and Mella rivers.
No. 8 | The Vines Grow on Soils from the Ice Age
Franciacorta is basically a large morainic amphitheater that is leftover from a glacier formed in the ice age and over five periods until retreating. The morainic material left was later covered in soil, specifically sand and silt, that created the hills of Franciacorta. The soils are rich in minerals and vines are able to thrive here for 40 + years.
No. 9 | The Microclimate is Unique
The weather is largely continental and the area benefits from being close to waterways, which mitigate temperatures all year long.
No. 10 | It was First a DOC Wine then Awarded DOCG Status
It was awarded DOC status in 1967, the designation then also including red and white still wines. Since 1995 the DOCG classification has applied exclusively to the sparkling wines of the area.
Franciacorta is rapidly growing in popularity, making appearances on wine lists and retail shelves alike. It’s flexibility in sweetness, varietal blends, and approachability provide a sense of celebration in a refreshing, crisp palate.
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