In the hierarchy of sparkling wines with the elegant effervescence of French champagne there is a David to France’s Goliath and its name is Franciacorta. Made according to the “classic method” of secondary bottle fermentation*, like Champagne Franciacorta is nurtured in a closed environment that produces millions of tiny bubbles that pop when the bottle is opened. Production is geographically defined by Italy’s breathtakingly beautiful Lake District with Como and Garda defending the vines from the cold of the Italian Alps. A product of a unique microclimate that produces wines with a balance of ripeness and acidity, Franciacorta exhibits the elegance of a champagne tempered by the subtle softness of “la bella vita“. With only 11 percent of its production sold outside of Italy (compared to 40-60 percent of other important Italian wine regions), Franciacorta is now realizing its potential to overcome French Champagne (and Spain’s sparkling Cava) whose production power is almost 20 times larger than Franciacorta.
A Consorzio for La Tutela del Franciacorta guarantees and monitors Franciacorta production in Italy. Every September it sponsors a festival along La Strada del Franciacorta, (the road of Franciacorta wines) with a series of events paired with local tastings offered at the area’s wineries. Italy’s tiny bubbles are conquering chefs, sommeliers and cutting-edge mixologists as well as lovers of sparkling wines with all sorts of possibilities to enjoy.
*Prosecco using the Charmat method is made by secondary fermentation that occurs in large pressurized tanks.