POSTED ON October 15, 2016 | IN Sparkling Wine, Travel Tips | BY Joe Becerra
Franciacorta sparkllng wine

Pouring Franciacorta sparkling wine

Where and What is Franciacorta?

You know Champagne! You probably know Cava from Spain. But you most likely do not now about Franciacorta sparkling wine. Where and what is Franciacorta? Franciacorta is an area of Italy that produces a high-quality sparkling wine.  After attending an excellent tasting of Franciacorta in San Francisco, I am convinced that we will see more Franciacorta coming to fine wine shops and becoming very popular in the U.S. It is delicious and rivals the best from Champagne and other great sparkling wine producers from around the world.

Franciacorta sparkling wine

In the Province of Brescia in northern Italy

Where is Franciacorta?

Franciacorta is an area that consists of 19 municipalities all in the province of Brescia in Northern Italy. The largest and closest big city is Brescia. Many wine travelers arrive in Franciacorta from the Verona Airport and then drive an hour to the Franciacorta area.  In 1995, the area of Franciacorta was awarded DOCG status by the Italian government. Vineyard plantings amount to 7,800 acres, and that is about one-tenth the size of Champagne. In March of 2009, the Franciacorta Consortium was formed and consists of 29 producers.

What is Franciacorta?

Franciacorta sparkling wine is a world-class wine. It is made in the same traditional manner as what is done in the Champagne region of France, Methode Champenoise. A second fermentation, which takes place in a closed bottle, creates the bubbles. The grapes used in the making of Franciacorta are Chardonnay, Pinot Nero, and Pinot Bianco. Non-vintage Franciacorta must age at least 18 months in the bottle. In the photo below are riddling racks. Riddling is an ancient craft where cellar workers turn each bottle 1/8 of turn daily and bang the bottle back in place. Sediment and dead yeast cells move to the neck of the bottle by this action.  Read: “How sparkling wine is made.”

Riddling for Franciacorta sparkling wine

Riddling Racks in a Franciacorta cellar

Tasting Franciacorta Sparkling wine

What we find in tasting Franciacorta is an excellent and delicate sparkling wine, filling the sensory modes with many flavors. Subtle apple, pear, and mineral characteristics abound. It is a fun wine but also serious enough for celebrating the best of occasions. Add a few bottles of Franciacorta to your wine cellar. Use the Wine-Searcher.com to find where you can purchase Franciacorta near you.

We visited the Franciacorta region in 2011 while attending the European Bloggers Conference. If you love traveling the world in search of wine, think about this beautiful spot in Northern Italy. There are biking and hiking trails that are beyond spectacular. What a way to vacation! Please see the Franciacorta Wine Tourism Website.

Comments

  1. In Italy there a lot of consortium and autoctone wine unknown to American wine taster.Probably it’s impossibile for italian vignarons old style comunicate to the wordl their treausure ad social media are not so friendly for old man in this business.
    Francia Corta is very famous and an alternative to Champagne.France wines is more glamour,merlot,cabernet,pinot,savignons leads the market but so expensive for poor families and prefererred from China and Japanese businessman.
    In My opinion californian italian mother tongue has the responsability to explain to American the culture of wine born in Italy and indicates to consumers and businessman other alternative wines because wine is for all, and in Europe vignarons struggle against Bruxelle’s rules in favoir of big wines industry.There is cris and agricolture is down.
    Sangiovese is an example of Alternative,autoctono and italiano,cheap and close to the italiano people.
    Thank you

    • Thanks for your comments. Recently an Italian vintner came to the Amador County in California. Here they grow many acres of Barbera and Sangiovese. The vintner concluded that the climate is much like Piedmonte. He encouraged the growers in Amador to plant other Italian grapes. I hope it happens.
      Joe