In Uncategorized on May 13, 2012 at 9:54 pm

Franciacorta a wine region in Lombardy, in the center of northern Italy. Winemaking in this region in fact goes back at least a thousand years, but it was the thinking of a few winemakers in the 60’s and 70’s that started the path that ended in Franciacorta becoming Italy’s first DOCG for Traditional Method (Or Methode Champenoise) sparkling wine, with the DOCG status being granted in 1995.

When talking about sparkling wine, I include the following explanation regarding the difference between Champagne and other sparkling wines: simply put, Champagne is a place. Some may think it’s snobby to harp on the difference between Champagne and other sparkling wines, but truly it is more an issue of the fact that giving the name Champagne to wines that aren’t from there just doesn’t make sense. To be sure, it is a place that is most well known for making sparkling wine, but it is a place nonetheless. Calling any sparkling wine that isn’t from Champagne by the name Champagne makes precisely as much sense as growing Cabernet in South Africa and putting Napa Valley on the label.

That being said, Franciacorta is what I would consider a Champagne analog, given that they use Champagne grape varieties (Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, though Pinot Blanc is also allowed.) And the wines are made using the same bottle fermentation method that is used in Champagne.

Franciacorta is located near Lake Iseo, just east of Milan, and in my experience up to this point, I have to say I consider it well within the realm of possibility that a skilled winemaker in this region can make wines which rival those of Champagne, and with the added bonus that, Franciacorta being as obscure as it still is, they are often considerably less expensive than Champagnes of comparable quality.

  1. I’ve been enjoying reading your daily posts. Thank you for sharing your insights!

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