The area likewise boasts a particularly favourable climate, with cold winds blowing down from the Valle Camonica tempered by the influence of the lake and low morainic hills near the lake basin. The winds blowing from the lake prevent the formation of winter fog, as well as of blankets of humidity during the spring and summer. All this exercises a positive impact on the quality of the wines produced from vineyards growing on these hillslopes, reflecting the intricate interacton of growing area-wine-winegrower.
The Riches of Franciacorta
Franciacorta is a magnificent area in the province of Brescia, just south of Lago d’Iseo, a land composed of gently rolling hills made up of ancient glacial deposits.
The origin of the name Franciacorta is wrapped in mystery, even though the name Franzacurta appeared for the first time in documents of the 13th century, referring in all likelihood to the duty-free status enjoyed by the villages (franchae curtes) of the area, then under the protection of the local monasteries. The local topography is the result of the retreat of glaciers during two glacial periods, the ancient Riss and more recent Würm, 80,000 years ago. The sediments they transported along the Valle Camonica as they carved out the bed of the Sebino (today’s Lago d’Iseo) were then deposited at the fore-edge of the plain, thus creating the morainic hills of Franciacorta. The morainic zone is marked by an incredible mineral richness that is quite different from the content of the native rock and constitutes the premise for the area’s immensely high-quality agriculture.
Franciacorta was among the first wine zones, in 1967, to initiate the process of obtaining DOC status, and in 1995 it became the first DOCG classic method sparkling wine. The Franciacorta DOCG specifies a very rigorous process and a minimum bottle maturation longer than any similar wine in the world. Franciacorta is made only from locally-grown Chardonnay, Pinot Blanc, Pinot Noir, or Erbamat grapes, with quite low yields per hectare, and the wine must mature a minimum of 25 months from harvest for the standard style, 37 months for Millesimato, or vintage-dated, and 60 months for the Riserva style.
The attractive gentleness of the landscape here and its fine weather began, in the 15th century, to attract noble Brescia families, who constructed cellars surmounted by villas for summertime stays, and with surrounding farms of modest dimensions.
The structure of the soils where the vineyards are planted in morainic areas is more calcareous than clay, and moderately deep
Art and expertise
in the cellar
The cellars are sited for the most part in ancient structures dating to the 16th, 17th, and 18th centuries, and from 2018 in the new cellar builded on three underground floors and a ground level.