10 things we learned about Franciacorta at the Franciacorta Summer Festival


10 things we learned about Franciacorta at the Franciacorta Summer Festival

Do you know everything about Franciacorta wine, one of the most famous bubbles in our country? We went to the cellars to learn secrets and learn stories.

Today Franciacorta is the name of a wine , but also of a production method and of a territory  in the province of Brescia where this winemaking excellence was born. Events are organized every year to make this product known and to let us discover its thousand shades, its secrets, its unique aspects, its charm. We went to the first weekend of the Franciacorta Summer Festival , we talked to chefs and producers to understand what are the characteristics of this wine, the most curious and the most interesting aspects for those who want to be transported among the bubbles of a good glass of Franciacorta.

 

  1. harvest-06Who created Franciacorta?The traces of viticulture in this small green area of ​​Lombardy are very ancient. We are talking about prehistoric grape seed finds, evidence of classical authors and traces of the Roman era. In a document dated 1570, the Brescia doctor Gerolamo Conforti describes the wines of Franciacorta as “biting”, bubbly. But the birth of Franciacorta wine as we know it today dates back to the Second World War and is linked to two very specific names. We are talking about Guido Berlucchi, descendant of the counts Lana de ‘Terzi, and of the oenologist Franco Ziliani. The two met in 1955 because Berlucchi needed help to make the white wine produced with the grapes from his vineyard in Borgonato more stable. At the end of the meeting, Ziliani, in greeting him, said the sentence that gave the  What if we also made a sparkling wine in the French way?”. The first 3000 bottles of 1961 were a success. Another 10 producers followed the example of Berlucchi and Ziliani and in 1967 they obtained the recognition of Denomination of Controlled Origin (Doc). In 1990 the Consortium was established (today it represents 97% of production) and five years later the Denomination of Controlled and Guaranteed Origin (DOCG) arrived and the production disciplinary was approved, which they say is the strictest in the world.
  2. harvest-05_ph-fabiocattabianiSustainability: the first company to produce organic in Franciacorta was Barone Pizzini 20 years ago. Today over 70% of producers are certified organic or are in the process of conversion. Attention to the environment at various levels has meant that the Franciacorta Consortium was the first in Italy to monitor greenhouse gas emissions through the Ita.Ca® calculator, modulated through an analysis of the experiences carried out by other countries . The Consortium and the municipalities of Franciacorta have created a regulation for the sustainable use of pesticides, products used to protect the health of a culture. Barone Pizzini built the new cellar following the parameters of green building in the choice of materials, in the use of photovoltaic panels, a phytoremediation system, etc … In Franciacorta there is is also one of the nine Italian companies (Ricci Curbastro) certified with the Equalitas standard which aims at environmental sustainability (biodiversity, carbon and water footprint) also in the processing, economic (good company practices, towards suppliers and employees) and ethics (good social practices and in relation to the territory). Attention to the environment concerns many elements and it must be said that in Franciacorta it is not difficult to find recharging stations for electric cars. Outdoor activities are then promoted through cycle-touring and walking routes marked and marked. economic (good company practices, towards suppliers and employees) and ethics (good social practices and in relation to the territory). Attention to the environment concerns many elements and it must be said that in Franciacorta it is not difficult to find recharging stations for electric cars. Outdoor activities are then promoted through cycle-touring and walking routes marked and marked. economic (good company practices, towards suppliers and employees) and ethics (good social practices and in relation to the territory). Attention to the environment concerns many elements and it must be said that in Franciacorta it is not difficult to find recharging stations for electric cars. Outdoor activities are then promoted through cycle-touring and walking routes marked and marked.
  3. 06-franciacorta_ph-fabiocattabiani-minSix microsystems in one territory : one of the great peculiarities of Franciacorta is its richness, its diversity. Do you think that the first geological and viticultural study dates back to 1910. The zoning study (of the succession of environments) carried out in 1992 by Professor Attilio Scienza of the University of Milan was fundamental, which made it possible to identify six territorial units on which different depend characteristics including the quality of the musts and the sensory profile of the wine. The study and scientific combination of the products of the various units guarantees Franciacorta unique sensory characteristics. For example, they pointed out that it is the only classic method product (refermentation in the bottle) with a hint of citrus.
  4. shakingTradition and innovation : research and technologies are important to improve quality. One of the secrets of this wine is being able to wisely combine tradition and innovation. On the one hand, there are memories of the past, such as harvesting done strictly by hand (as per specification), on the other hand modern and increasingly sophisticated machines are used to guarantee the best result. For example, the grapes are pressed so soft and fast thanks to innovative systems and also the phase of the shaking (or  remuage), or the rotation of the bottles to bring the sediment towards the neck, is often no longer manual. The image of these experts is fascinating who every day rotate the bottles by 1/8 of a turn and gradually tilt them on special stands called pupitres … fascinating but, as explained by the young oenologist of the Biondelli family, who since little girl learned the method following her father in the cellar, it is not easy to find a truly prepared team and human error is always around the corner. In addition, it may happen that, during the operation, a bottle bursts putting the worker at risk. For these reasons, more and more companies rely on pallet turners with programmable processing cycles. Technology to support quality and safety.
  5. tasting-saten-franciacorta-rose% e2% 95% a0cTypes : easy to say Franciacorta! This wine has different types: Franciacorta, Satén, Rosè, Millesimato (the wine comes from a single vintage), Riserva. What changes? The blend changes, which can include different proportions of pinot noir, chardonnay, erbamat (which we will talk about later) and pinot bianco. The minimum aging time on the lees and maturation time from the harvest changes. Change the dosage, that is the mixture of wine and sugar that is added after disgorging, the elimination of the deposit of yeasts. The driest is the non-dosed or  pas-dosé(sugar up to 3 g / l). The amount of sugar increases going towards the extra brut, the brut (the most common), the extra dry, the dry, up to the demi-sec (sugar 33-50 g / l), perfect in combination with desserts , especially if it is a rosé Franciacorta. The last distinctive element is the pressure in the bottle. This must be between 5 and 6 atmospheres, with the exception of the Satèn, a typology that exists only here. It is, in practice, a Franciacorta Brut, produced only with white grapes, deliberately softer, velvety. The name is a dedication to the past of the area, where silkworm breeding was widespread until a few decades ago.
  6. Erbamat : we mentioned it when talking about grapes. It is a recovered native vine. In 2017 it was included in the new specification. A maximum of 10% is allowed in the Franciacorta and Rosè types. Some companies are experimenting with it, including Barone Pizzini, Guido Berlucchi and Cà del Bosco.
  7. cellars-in-franciacorta-12How to keep it and for how long : have you bought a bottle of Franciacorta? Well, remember to place it flat, in the dark, in places without too many changes in temperature and away from strong odors that could be absorbed by the cork. Once it was recommended to consume the wine within two – three years of disgorgement but today it is possible to work better in the cellar and to guarantee Franciacorta a greater longevity, even eight – nine years.
  8. il-franciacorta-21A special glass : over the years the Consortium has studied a special glass just for the tasting of this wine and to make the most of the perlage, the bubbles, which must be fine and persistent. The stem is thin. The cup is tulip-shaped, rounded to best develop the aromatic notes, but deeper than the traditional shape to allow the perlage to free itself towards the other. Some producers and restaurateurs prefer to use other types of glasses for personal aesthetic preferences. De gustobus.
  9. wine-museumWine Museum : in Franciacorta you will not find only glasses waiting for you. To get to know this world better, the Ricci Curbastro agricultural and wine museum in Capriolo is worth a visit. Inaugurated in 1986, it gathers the objects of the trade passionately collected by Gualberto Ricci Curbastro in four rooms. Presses, cappers, finely decorated wagons to transport wine, plows, traps, knives, not to mention one of the first crusher-destemmers, built in 1895.
  10. perlageMan does not live by bubbles alone : not everyone knows that Franciacorta is not only produced in the wine of the same name. Indeed the territory can boast three other denomination wine products: Curtefranca Doc with mention of vineyard, Curtefranca Doc and Sebino Igt. Curtefranca Doc bianco is made up of a minimum (50%) of chardonnay, pinot nero and pinot bianco grapes up to a maximum of 50%. However, there is also the Curtefranca Doc Rosso given by carmenere and / or cabernet franc (minimum of 20%) with the possibility of adding cabernet sauvignon and merlot. The production of still wines is a small percentage (about 30%) but it exists.

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