I am always astounded by the abundance of Beauty in my country. I love Italy very much: each region has such a variety of ecellenses you can spend a life to discover them all!
At the beginning of the autumn the wine cellars near Brescia in Lombardia open their doors and invite you to taste the DOGC sparkling wine produced from grapes grown within the boundaries of the territory of Franciacorta, on the hills located between Lake Iseo and the city of Brescia. The acronym “DOGC” means “Controlled and Guarteed Origin” and this classification has been granted exclusively to the sparkling wines of this area and its well identified communes covering around 2,200 hectares (5,400 acres).
The name “Franciacorta” has nothing to do with France but derives from the medieval latin epithet “curtes francae” indicating the area inhabited by benedictine monks, whose production and trade were exempted by any duty (“franca”).
Franciacorta sparkling wine is produced using the “metodo classico” (or “méthode champenoise”, the same applied to Champagne): the effervescence is produced by secondary fermentation in the bottle using sucre and selected yeasts (liqueur de tirage). The distribution of permitted grape varieties are 85% Chardonnay, 10% Pinot nero and 5% Pinot bianco.
This year the appointment is on the 19th and 20th of September and you can find all the information (only partially in english) at www.franciacorta.net.
I am not an expert at all but this is the second time I am going to enjoy a day tour in Franciacorta (self drive) and the spectacle of the green grapevines, the flavors, the excellent taste of the wine and above all the possibility to listen to the life stories of the winemakers is something cannot be missed.
In my opinion there is an important aspect to be considered choosing the cellars you want to visit (the reservation is compulsory): the experience offered by the most famous labels is different from the one of the smaller producers.
In the first case the factory and the wine cellar itself are bigger, they organize a schedule for group visits, very well prepared young sommeliers accompany you through the secrets of “metodo classico” and finally the wine tasting is served in their beautiful gardens.
On the other side when you arrive at a smaller cellar you are welcome by the owner or a member of its family who personally show you the grapevines, the machineries and invite you to drink their specialties telling you their own stories.
A good mix of both could give you the right perception of this amazing world!
This is my program:
The list of the cellars and their initiatives during the festival can be found following at this link.