Franciacorta DOCG, Lombardy
Located near Brescia in Lombardy region, Franciacorta’s winemaking history traces back to 6th century but it was not until early 20th century that its locally made sparkling wine became the calling card of the nascent and fast developing wine region.
Made from Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Bianco, the wines here are made in Champenoise methods, meaning the wine goes through bottle fermentation. Located next to Lake Iseo, in an amphitheatre shaped growing zone formed by retreating glaciers, Franciacorta is one of the most ambitious metodo classico wine production regions in Italy. The name Franciacorta is a derivation of ‘Curtes Francae’, a reference to the zone’s tax-free trading status in the 13th century.
The first bottle of today’s Franciacorta sparkling wine was made in 1961 by Guido Berlucchi winery. Main grapes are Chardonnay, Pinot Bianco and Pinot Noir and more recently indigenous grape Erbamt is also making a comeback. Non-vintage Franciacorta requires a minimum period of 18 months on lees; Saten and Rose, 24 months; vintage Franciacorta, 30 months; and Riserva 60 months.
The region’s production is limited compared with the more popular Prosecco. Only 11% of Franciacorta’s annual production of around 18 million bottles is exported around the globe.
Wines to try:
2016 Ca’ del Bosco Vintage Collection dosage zero (17D, Sino Vantage Asia, HKD 495)
Grape: 65% Chardonnay, 22% Pinot Nero, 13% Pinot Bianco
Winemaking: Metodo Classico, 48 months aging on lees, zero dosage
2016 Bellavista Teatro Alla Scala (10B, Enoteca Co. Ltd., HKD480)
*inaugurated 1778 in Milano, Teatro La Scala is one of the most famous opera house in the world.
Grape: 75% Chardonnay 25% Pinot Nero
Winemaking: Metodo Classico, over 4 years aging on lees, 4.5 g/l dosage