When You think about Italian sparkling wine, the first thing that comes to Your mind is a Prosecco. Today, I’ll tell You about his lesser known but more serious cousin – Franciacorta.
Franciacorta is an Italian sparkling wine from Lombardy made by using traditional method of secondary fermentation in bottle same as in French Champagne.
Warm climate, strict regulations, great price to quality ratio and usage of both international and unique local grape Varieties make it an exotic but great alternative to Champagne.
Wine is made by the traditional method of secondary fermentation in the bottle which is called by the locals “Franciacorta method” . Mostly used grapes, apart from local ones are Pinot Blanc, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Wines made from local grapes tend to be more fruity and less acidic.
There is a quality graduation of Franciacorta, based on a time that wine spends on the “less”. Less is a sediment from dead yeast cells, that are responsible for secondary fermentation in the bottle that creates bubbles. The more time wine spends with them, the more nutty and yeasty aromas it develops.
Franciacorta – 18 months
Franciacorta Rosé – 24 months
Franciacorta Satèn – 24 months
Franciacorta millesimato – (declared vintage) 30 months
Franciacorta riserva – 60 months
As You can see, the minimal amount of time the wine spends on the less is higher than for Non Vintage Champagne (15 months) which results in less fruity but more full and elegant notes of almonds and marzipan. The dosage (adding sugar to the final wine) is typically used less often than in champagne region, because Italian winemakers prefer their sparkling wines dry. The driest types of Francciacorta are labelled as Pas Dosé, Dosage Zéro, Pas Opéré or Nature. Sweeter styles in order from the drier to the sweeter are Extra Brut, Brut, Sec and Demi-Sec.
Franciacorta acquired its DOC (special apelation protected by law) status in 1967