Franciacorta is not a secret anymore; most wine lovers recognize the sparkling wine as the Italian answer to Champagne. Still, Franciacorta is not a copycat but an authentic star in its own right.
Lombardy is home to Milan, the fashion capital of the world. The region is also home to da Vinci’s Last Supper, and the fashionable Lake Como is where you go on holidays when you know you’ve made it. Lombardy is amongst the most vibrant and lavish regions in Italy.
It comes as no surprise people here quench their thirst with one of the most luxurious sparkling wines on the planet. Here’s all you need to know about Franciacorta, the sparkling beauty.
What is Franciacorta, anyway?
Franciacorta is an Italian DOCG, the highest distinction for Italian appellations, and it’s protected by European law; the quality of the area’s sparkling wine is guaranteed. This is not just any fizzy wine, though; it’s made with the authentic Méthode Champenoise, the classic, time-consuming, and labor-intensive way of making wine Champagne style.
Let’s just say, unlike Prosecco, every bottle of Franciacorta takes years to make in a costly, artisanal way. The result? Heaven on a glass — the creamiest yet crisp and elegant rendition of Italian grapes.
Talking about grapes, Franciacorta must be made with Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Pinot Blanc, and there are several styles of Franciacorta: There’s regular sparkling wine, aged for at least 18 months in bottle, the rosé or rosato, the Satén, which is made only with white grapes, and the Millesimato, vintage-dated sparkling wine.
There’s lots to know about Franciacorta, but remember this: Franciacorta has the perfect weather for growing cold climate Burgundian grapes and that the producers in the region take no shortcuts to make sparkling wine of world-class quality.
Franciacorta is special thanks to its people.
Franciacorta might be the perfect place to grow premium grapes, but if it weren’t for the committed wine producers in the region, we wouldn’t have the fantastic wine we have today.
One of the most exclusive Franciacorta producers is L’Azienda La Valle, the estate in the valley. The Pezzola family produces eight unique expressions of Franciacorta, and although all of them are extraordinary, if you’re into fine wine, you want to try the La Valle Satén Brut.
The pale golden wine is aged for 30 months on spent yeast before resting for six more months in bottle. The elegant wine opens with an enthusiastic fizz, each bubble carrying delicious aromas reminiscent of white peaches and honeyed lotus flowers with attractive hazelnut undertones extending through the long finish.
On the palate, La Valle Satén greets you with mouth-watering acidity and a subtle creaminess not dissimilar to Grand Cru Champagne.
This is a marvelous example of what passionate producers in Franciacorta can achieve, and for the price, this might very well be amongst the best-valued wines not only in Italy but the world.
This is Franciacorta, and if you’re still not stocking up on the region’s fine bubbles, this is the time to start. Franciacorta won’t live under the shadows much longer. The secret is out, but luckily, at least right now, there’s still enough Franciacorta to go around!