Falling in Love with Franciacorta
‘Tis the season for Sparkling Wine. Now is the time when wine enthusiasts around the world are looking to bust out the bubbly and celebrate the holiday season. If you want to ring in the new year in style then we suggest you fill your flute (or wine glass) with Franciacorta. What better way to say Goodbye to 2013 and Hello to 2014 then with one of Italy’s most prestigious products? By now you have probably heard of Prosecco but unless you watched our first video The Best Sparkling Wine You Have Never Heard Of there is a good chance you have not heard of or tasted Franciacorta.
Processo and Franciacorta might both be made in Italy but they are not in the same league or class. The first class sparkling wines of Franciacorta are the same caliber as Champagne and Cava. Until now, this Italian treasure has been Italy’s best kept secret and rarely seen in the U.S. However, there is hope on the horizon. The flood gates are opening up and you too can get your fill of Franciacorta’s fresh, fun and food friendly wines.
Watch the above video get a taste of why Franciacorta has long been recognized as one of Europe’s most distinguished sparkling wines. Join me as we travel to Lombardy, where the snow of the Italian Alps and second fermentation in bottle help give Franciacorta its distinctive flavor and golden character. Come along as we go inside Italy’s best sparkling wine region and introduce you to the people who are handcrafting these stylish wines with heart and soul.
What is Prosecco? Prosecco is a sparkling wine made from white Prosecco grapes in Veneto, Italy.
What is Franciacorta?
The Grapes: Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Pinot Bianco
The Wines: The area’s venerable wineries, which have now become modern cathedrals to advanced winemaking practices, produce the various styles of Franciacorta (non vintage, Vintage, Rosé, Satèn, Riserva) as well as Curtefranca DOC Bianco and Rosso, and Sebino IGT, the still wines of Franciacorta.
The Name: Today, the wine label simply reads Franciacorta, a single term that identifies the growing area, the production method, and the wine. In all of Europe, only 10 denominations enjoy this privilege, and of these, only three pertain to re-fermentation in the bottle: Cava, Champagne, and Franciacorta.
Production periods of Franciacorta styles
- minimum 18 months – Franciacorta
- minimum 24 months – Non-vintage Franciacorta Satèn and Franciacorta Rosé
- minimum 30 months – Vintage-dated Franciacorta Vintage
- minimum 60 months – Franciacorta Riserva
Sparkling Wine Styles
Saten: Composed of Chardonnay and Pinot Bianco grapes (max 50%), Saten is unique for its lower bottle pressure (5 atmospheres as opposed to 6) which results in a very fine, creamy perlage. Produced only as brut.
Rose: Composed of Chardonnay, Pinot Bianco and Pinot Noir grapes (min 25%). The red and white grapes are vinified separately.
Millesimato: Vintage wines are labled according to the “millesimo” or year of the harvest. At least 85% must be from the vintage stated on the label.
Pas Dose: The absense of dosage makes this the driest style. Less than 3 grams of sugar per liter are permitted.
Brut: The most versatile food wine, up to 15 grams of sugar per liter are permitted.
Thank you to the Consorzio Franciacorta and Balzac Communications for sponsoring my first trip to Franciacorta and making it possible for me to share what I learned with all of you!
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