Wine cellars tour in Franciacorta

Eleonora Ruzzenenti | Live the World

November 23, 2022

Franciacorta is a small area in Lombardy in Northern Italy that produces complex sparkling wines using the traditional method. It’s a beautiful region to visit and full of amazing wine to taste. Let’s talk about the name.. The question is still unclear, one first option tells that Carlomagno, during his descent into Italy as leader of the Franks army to take the kingdom of the Lombards, was so impressed with the beauty of the territory to decide to stop here and settle in the middle of "Franciacorta". But there is another version probably more accredited, it is based on what makes this a Free zone, excluded from duties and taxes of any kind, then imposed by the empire, making it free from any reliance. Lands of viticultural church property; the monks in exchange for the hard work in the vineyard and for the dedication and conservation of the soil had in return the exemption of imperial taxes required elsewhere. It was precisely the free zones of "Curtis Francae" and from here comes the name Franciacorta.

Formerly known as a rural escape for Milanese aristocrats, Franciacorta is now home to more than a hundred vineyards, many of which are open for tours and tasting sessions, as well as some excellent Michelin-starred restaurants, plus more laid-back "trattoria" where you can sample both the local wine and traditional regional dishes and home to what many wine connoisseurs are calling Italy’s best new sparkling wine. Like Champagne, Franciacorta refers to both the geographical region and the wine itself, which was granted DOCG—the highest level of Italian wine classification—in 1995. Though it’s produced using méthode champenoise and with the exact same grape varietals of chardonnay, pinot noir, and pinot blanc, don’t mistake it for Champagne: Franciacorta is distinctly Italian, an expression of the region’s unique terroir. Unlike other popular Italian sparklers like Prosecco, Lambrusco, or Asti Spumante—which are largely mass-produced, inexpensive, and fermented in large steel tanks—Franciacorta is hand-harvested, fermented in wooden casks, and then again in the bottle for a minimum of 18 months by law. It’s a process that’s even more stringent than Champagne, and as a result, the quality of many Franciacorta wines far exceed that of even the most famous Champagnes.

Tourist offices and hotels stock a map of the "Strada del Vino Franciacorta", a wine route that allows anyone to immerse in the culture of this territory and to follow trails based on the areas they want to visit. The purpose of the wine route is also to promote and preserve the wine culture of Franciacorta, making wine become the symbol of excellence of this area. Local products and excellent wine are the protagonists of the wine and food trails offered by the Wine Route in Franciacorta.

Every year the Festival Franciacorta gives to visitors the chance to know this territory through the Strada del Franciacorta with its castles and monasteries, enjoying the many events organized by the cellars. A weekend for everyone. The wineries give birth to an original weekend and a wealth of initiatives not to be missed.

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