Franciacorta, Italy’s answer to Champagne
Franciacorta is a wine you might well be seeing a lot more of. Producers and exporters of this sparkling wine gathered in Edinburgh to show off their wares. Not one to hold back from a taste of some fine wine, we headed along to one of the sessions at the Hub at the top of the Royal Mile to discover more.
Italy is, of course, renowned for its wine, whether it be Pinot Grigio, Chianti, Prosecco etc…but the Franciacorta name didn’t appear onto the scene until around until 1957 when Guido Berlucchi released a white wine named Pinot di Franciacorta. Originating in the Province of Brescia (Lombardy), it became the first DOC to specify that its sparkling wines must be made by Metodo classico (the traditional method used also for making Champagne). In 1990, the Consorzio per la tutela del Franciacorta was formed, instigating codes of self-regulation with a gradual reduction of yields. Franciacorta progressed to DOCG status (Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita (DOCG) meaning that the wine producers followed the strictest regulations possible when making the wine.
The grapes are grown in mineral-rich soils with DOCG-declared vineyards of around. 2,200 hectares (5,400 acres). The permitted grape varieties are 85% Chardonnay, 10% Pinot nero and 5% Pinot bianco.
Non-vintage Franciacorta (NV) is only released after at least 25 months after harvest, of which 18 months must be in contact with the yeast in the bottle.
Franciacorta Vintage or Millesimato may not be sold until at least 37 months after harvest, of which 30 months must be in contact with the yeast.
A Franciacorta rosé must contain at least 15% Pinot nero.
Franciacorta Satèn must be a Blanc de blancs with only the use of Chardonnay and/or Pinot bianco permitted, with only 4.5 atmospheres of pressure instead of 6.
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