Sparkling Wine for the Holidays – A Tasting of Franciacorta
What better way to celebrate the holiday season than by spending a Sunday afternoon sipping and learning about the delicious sparkling wines of Franciacorta, the premier sparkling wine of Italy?
Franciacorta is largely unknown to American wine lovers, but we want to change that! On December 18 Wine Lovers of NYC, in cooperation with Pierre Loti Wine Bars and May Matta-Aliah of In the Grape will present 6 of the best of these wines.
So – sparkling wines….what are they? Are they Champagne, Cava, Prosecco, Cremant?? True, these all are sparkling wines, but very few reach the same level of finesse and elegance as the greatest Champagnes, except for Franciacorta!
Franciacorta is produced in the small lake region in Lombardy, Northern Italy. The vineyards are nestled on the southern edge of Lake Iseo, and protected by an amphitheater of hills that surrounding the region. The same grapes used for Champagne, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, are used here, with a small addition of Pinot Blanc. The wines are all produced in the ‘Traditional Method’, whereby the second fermentation responsible for the creation of the bubbles takes place in bottle. The wines all undergo extended periods in the cellar prior to release, allowing the delicate bubbles to form.
So why is it that you have not heard of Franciaorta before? Well for starters it is a newer region for sparkling wine production, dating back to the mid 1960s, while Champagne has been produced in northern France since the 17th century. For another it is MUCH smaller than the Champagne region, with only 7,000 acres of vineyards compared to Champagne’s 84,000 acres, it has remained a niche product.
Don’t just take our word for it, see what Wine Enthusiast had to say: “In just 50 years Franciacorta wines have reached a standard of quality that no one else in the world has been able to achieve.”