Franciacorta – a new discovery
What is it?
A ski resort?…. a car?…
Wrong. Move over Prosecco. It’s Italy’s new answer to Champagne.
Let’s face it, sparkling wine has enjoyed an oh-so-fashionable summer, with cava and Prosecco sales going through the roof. Even Lambrusco has recently been seeing something of a revival.
However, not so many people have come across the sparkling wines of Franciacorta, and the Italians are keen to keep it a secret too. After all, why share something that’s so delicious?
Franciacorta was Italy’s first wine to be produced in the classic “champagne” method of second fermentation in the bottle. The wines are made from chardonnay, pinot noir and pinot blanc grapes with hints of almond, peach and apricot; refreshing apple and citrus notes, but finishing dry, you would be forgiven for thinking it was the real thing. What’s more, it is less expensive than many bubblies.
Little wonder sales in the UK have doubled in the past 12 months and they look set to rise meteorically in the forthcoming months as Franciacorta is now being stocked by Marks & Spencer, Tesco, Waitrose and other supermarket giants.
So where does it come from? Well, Franciacorta is a territory of Lombardy in the north of Italy, with a moderate climate and softly rolling hills. We first discovered it on the slopes of Canazei, in Val Gardena (part of the Sella Ronda which we reported on in an earlier story HERE) this spring, on the sunny terrace of a tiny slopeside restaurant called La Fienile, on the piste named Col Rodella. Our ski technique was decidedly more fluid after a wee lunchtime aperitif!
It’s definitely worth keeping a look out for at home and abroad. And remember, you read it here first – Franciacorta is the new Champagne. So move over Prosecco…. we now have a new favourite fizzy wine!