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Franciacorta Report

What is Franciacorta?

Q: What is Franciacorta?

A: A world-class sparkling wine made in Italy.

Franciacorta is the only real alternative to Champagne. This sparkling wine is a world-class wine. I’m a huge fan of this exciting wine region.

It’s a tiny area in the north of Italy, nestled between Bergamo and Brescia in Lombardy. Fizz production is based on the Champagne model but has only been made here since 1961. It achieved the prestigious DOCG status in 1995.

Production has expanded, but there is still only 15 million bottles made each year to go round. There is a range of styles. Besides Brut NV, you’ll find Rosé, Vintage, and Riserva. They also make a unique and lovely crémant style called Satén. Translated as satin, it describes the texture of the wine perfectly.

Only Chardonnay, Pinot Nero, and Pinot Bianco grapes are allowed, with production using the classic method used in Champagne. In fact,  the production rules are stricter than those in Champagne. Quality is extraordinarily high.

The Consorzio per la Tutela del Franciacorta, founded in 1990,  monitors Franciacorta vineyards and production and guarantees the brand. Nearly all the wineries are members, some 109 at the last count.

I was fortunate to be a guest of the Consorzio on a Circle of Wine Writers visit. Download and read the Franciacorta Report for more information. That just happens to feature my writing and photography.

As production increases, so does the amount of Franciacorta exported to the UK. If you haven’t tried it yet, then find a good independent wine shop and be amazed.  If you need a stockist, just ask.

Here are ten of my personal favourites.

Ten recommendations

Ferghettina Pas Dosé 33
Majolini Electo Brut 2005
Contadi Castaldi Soul Satèn 2008
Bellavista Vittorio Moretti 2008
Biondelli Brut 2011
Villa Crespia Francesco Iacono 2005
Ca’ del Vent Blanc de Blancs Sospiri 2008
Il Mosnel Rosé Pas Dosé Parose 2010
Cantina Villa Cuvette 2007
Ca’ del Bosco Annamaria Clementi 2006

Have you tried Franciacorta yet? What do you think?


Thank you to the Consorzio for their hospitality and for allowing use of their graphic

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