Forbes: “Bubbly On A Budget: Best Value Sparkling Wines To Try Now”

Sparkling wine was given its long-awaited spotlight in Katie Kelly Bell’s recent Forbes article, “Bubbly On A  Budget: Best Value Sparkling Wines To Try Now.”

Bell starts off by defining the distinction between sparkling wine and champagne, two terms that are often mistakenly used interchangeably.  While the method of production for both could be exactly the same, sparkling wine is “a general term used to characterize bubbly” whereas, champagne is “a bubbly [that] must be made within the confines of France’s Champagne region” and must be made in the ‘traditional method’ or Methode Champenoise.

The article captures the rising popularity and accessibility of sparkling wines from around the globe, including regions ranging from California to Tasmania. Bell recommends that the best place to experiment is at restaurants where there are sommeliers “pouring exciting options by the glass.”

To conclude, Bell provides a list of some of today’s most stunning, yet affordable sparkling wines, highlighting Barone Pizzini’s own Animante Franciacorta Brut. She appreciates Franciacorta’s precise and complex wines, which are not only made in the traditional method but are also from the region’s first certified organic winery. Accordingly, Bell notes Barone Pizzini as being a pioneer in promoting biodiversity and natural farming methods in its region.


Go Organic This Holiday Season

Let’s ring in some holiday cheer! Snow, Santa, dreidels and festivities will soon usher in the holiday season. Kitchens are abuzz with families preparing traditional, tried and true classics for a bountiful holiday feast. Why not serve your dishes with an organic twist?

Barone Pizzini and Pievalta offer several options to grace your holiday meal. Barone Pizzini, the first winery in the Franciacorta area in northern Italy to adopt organic farming, boasts some of Italy’s greatest sparkling wine. Preservation of the land coupled with a long term ecological balance have distinguished Barone Pizzini and Pievalta as influential leaders in organic winemaking.

Solar panels, water purification and a natural cooling system guarantee an environmentally friendly process. The winery’s unique architecture, in which two thirds of the building lie underground, offers a bioclimatic and organic system. Therefore, the winery takes from the Earth and gives back to the wine.

Barone Pizzini’s family of Franciacorta wines will sparkle at holidays feasts. Elevate appetizers with Animante Franciacorta DOCG, Barone Pizzini’s flagship wine. These wines are a jumpstart to your holiday meal.

The Rosé Franciacorta (80% Pinot Noir, 20% Chardonnay) pairs ideally with fish, white meats, cheese and salami. It makes a perfect splash with holiday starters. These two wines make a solid start to holiday dinner parties as well as an excellent range of prix-fixe pairings for organically-driven tasting menus.  

Pair grass-fed lamb with Pievalta’s Marche IGT Rosso. The Marche IGT Rosso is made with Montepulciano grapes, which pairs beautifully with meats, as well as salami and cheese. The deep red wine will bring out the natural flavor of the lamb and the pungent aromas of the charcuterie and cheese.    

Celebrate this holiday season with family, friends, and healthy holiday cheer.  Complement your holiday feast with award winning organic wines from Barone Pizzini and Pievalta.  

Organic Authority: “Italian Wine: Where to Sip and Savor the Best Organic Wine in Italy”

Do organic wineries thrive in Italy? Yes, according to Donna Sozio’s “Italian Wine: Where to Sip and Savor the Best Organic Wine in Italy,” published in Organic Authority.

Sozio underscores the prominence of this contemporary trend in the winemaking process. Organic winemaking is considered to be a celebrated spin on an ageold method. The article proceeds to highlight several wineries throughout Italy, each proud of its environmentally conscious achievements.

Barone Pizzini is an ideal example of a winery at the forefront of organic winemaking. Pievalta goes a step further as a pioneer in biodynamic winemaking in Le Marche. Both are included in the article as example wineries that pursue organic principles.

These wineries are propelling the ancient art of winemaking into the future. In implementing organic and sustainable methods into their processes, they show deep respect for the terroirs of their particular locations. Further, they are invigorating the process with modern technological advancements to preserve the earth from which the grapes come.

Respect for the land is an ancient philosophy. Yet, over time, it was been eschewed for advancements in technology. These Italian wineries, however, strive to preserve the land with technological innovation. In bridging these values, cutting edge Italian wineries are paving the way for the future of organic winemaking.

Decanter’s Travel Guide to Franciacorta

Italy’s Franciacorta region is given the royal treatment in Alessandra Piubello’s glowing article, “The Decanter Travel Guide to Franciacorta,featured in the November 2016 issue of Decanter. The natural splendor of this historic territory is on full display. Medieval monasteries, worldrenowned hotels and famed wineries pepper Piubello’s lush portrait of this understated, quietly majestic region.  

The Franciacorta territory, which is located south of Lake Iseo, is home to the eponymous sparkling wine. Made with Chardonnay, Pinot Nero, and Pino Bianco grapes, Franciacorta is one of Italy’s finest sparkling wines. Barone Pizzini, the first winery in Franciacorta to produce DOCG wine from organic grapes, is key to the region’s history, making an appearance in the article’s suggested day planner, “My Perfect Day in Franciacorta.”

Piubello walks readers through a tour of Franciacorta, offering an idyllic escape through this bucolic region. Exploring the medieval villages and rolling hills on foot or by bicycle is recommended as the best way to discover the area’s many charms. The Strada del Vino wine route is an enchanting journey into the world of Franciacorta.    

Admire the colors of the vineyards, explore the ancient castles, and stroll through the peat marshes where flowering lilies bloom.          

Wine is the heart of Franciacorta, and winery tours are accessible to visitors. As well as Barone Pizzini, Piubello suggests Ca’del Bosco, Bellavista and Il Mosnel. La Montina Winery is home to wine tastings as well as a contemporary art gallery. Ricci Curbastro houses an agricultural museum and antiques shop. Nearby Lake Iseo offers sailing and windsurfing, which are popular in summer months.

The article ends on a tempting note: Franciacorta’s most famous dishes are stuffed tench and beef from Rovato. Pairing these dishes with a chilled glass of Franciacorta is well worth the journey.    

Piubello recommends the Franciacorta Festival in June or September but reassures readers that the region is beautiful at any time of year. Franciacorta has something for everyone: natural beauty, outdoor activities, history, culture and, certo, world class wine.  

Pievalta Castelli di Jesi Winery: Pioneers of Biodynamic Agriculture in Le Marche

The Pievalta Castelli di Jesi Winery, located in Le Marche, was founded in 2002 with biodynamic agriculture in mind. Silvano Brescianini of Barone Pizzini spotted the potential of the Verdicchio grape and decided to acquire the property. He recruited Alessandro Fenino, a young enologist from Milan, to manage this newly acquired land. Thus began the story of this pioneering winery.

Fenino studied the Verdicchio grape and decided to farm the estate, adhering to purely organic methods. In 2005, he implemented a biodynamic conversion of the vineyards. In growing cover crops between vineyard rows “green manure,” Fenino successfully reactivated the soil, while stimulating the growth of many other plants, too. His method acts as a kind of organic renaissance for the vineyard.

“We let the grapes express themselves freely,” Fenino explains. “We don’t transform grapes into wine. We simply accompany the fruit as it becomes wine.”

That process is facilitated by hand, without the intrusion of heavy machinery. No fertilizers or irrigation are utilized here, only homegrown methods ensuring the winery’s vision of biodynamic agriculture.

Within the cellar, the process of letting “the grapes express themselves” continues. The process through which these wines are produced, from the soil to the bottle, has been carefully designed to respect the values of this visionary winery. Pievalta’s products have been vegan certified.

Comprising 26.5 hectares of vineyards, Pievalta is a forward-thinking winery on the cutting edge of agricultural science. The taste of a Pievalta wine – the ultimate expression of Verdicchio from Le Marche – is infused with the tremendous respect for the terroir in which it is grown.


Everything You Need to Know About the Franciacorta Wine Region

Deep in the lush hills of Northern Italy rests the region of Franciacorta. Nestled to the southwest of the azure Lake Iseo, this verdant territory is the eponymous home of Italy’s most exquisite sparkling wines. The 6,250 vineyard area offers a mild climate due to its location south of the Alps. In 1967, Franciacorta was established as a DOC (denominazione di origine controllata), and, in 1995, a DOCG (Deniominazione di Origine Cotrollata e Garantita). One of the first wineries registered in the Franciacorta DOC, Barone Pizzini’s heritage and history is rooted in this splendid landscape.

Franciacorta is crafted in the highest tier of production, on par with French Champagne. The principal white grape includes Chardonnay and Pinot Bianco, while the red includes Pinot Nero. The Sparkling wine varieties include Spumante, Rosé, Satèn Spumante, Millesimato and Riserva. The wine is available in both non-vintage and vintage forms.

A relatively young label, Franciacorta only began producing bottles during the last century. In fact, the first bottle bearing the name “Franciacorta” was released in the 1950s. While the region is rooted in history, the winemaking process emerged late within the story of wine. It may be youthful, but the style is far from ordinary. Rather, Franciacorta is considered by many to be Italy’s finest sparkling wine. This is primarily because each bottle of Franciacorta is created individualistically, rather than in large vats. Therefore, the taste of the bubbles is soft and flattering, rather than harsh and overbearing.

Located not far from Milan or Venice, Franciacorta is easily accessible by train, car and plane. The stunning region is picturesque with a mild, temperate climate. Nearby Lake Iseo is one of Italy’s most underrated sights, boasting the beauty of Lake Como without the upmarket prices. The lake was currently the location of French artist Christo’s latest project, The Floating Piers, which featured 100,000 square meters of undulating yellow fabric.

Visit the Barone Pizzini Winery, and make sure to visit the striking new wine cellar. Built with solar panels, a natural cooling system, and the use of stone and wood, the Winery’s eco-friendly wine cellar is a testament to the family’s respect for this majestic region.

“I Speak Art” event features Bob Dylan and Barone Pizzini

Last evening, Remomero Gallery in Beirut, Lebanon, presented “Once upon a time, I was grape,” a special art exhibit presented as part of the “I Speak Art: the art of taste, the taste of art” series. “Once upon a time,” featured artworks by Bob Dylan, as well as wine by Barone Pizzini.

“I Speak Art” is centered upon the theme of taste. All the senses are engaged here, as visual art exhibits are paired with wine degustations and gourmet food tastings.

“Once upon a time, I was grape” displays nine works of art by three different artists from very different backgrounds. Three works from Nobel prize winning musician Bob Dylan’s collection “Drawn Blank” are on view.

Renowned Italian wine philosopher Gaetano Saccoccio was the special guest of the evening, enlightening guests with a tasting of Barone Pizzini’s award winning wines, including:

  • Animante Barone Pizzini (winner of 1st organic spumante in 2016)
  • Edizione Barone Pizzini (organic spumante rosé)
  • Sancti Blasii Colline San Biagio (red wine Carmignano DOCG, Tuscany)

“Once upon a time, I was grape,” is a testament to the power of art and its many forms. From visual imagery to the delectable taste of a Barone Pizzini wine, art is on full display at Remomero Gallery.

Slow Wine Awards 2017

Congratulations to Barone Pizzini!

The 2017 edition of the Slow Wine Awards, the annual event organized by Slow Foods in Montecatini, Tuscany, is one of the most anticipated wine events in Italy. The event showcases the presentation of the “Slow Wine Guide,” which celebrates Italian wines and the producers who make them.

Barone Pizzini was awarded the following four prestigious awards:

Chiocciola Award: The Chiocciola (“snail”) symbol indicates wineries demonstrating quality, sustainability and adherence to terroir.

  • Barone Pizzini
  • Pievalta

Vino Slow Award: Awarded to wines of excellent quality that is also produced with an eco-friendly approach.

  • Bagnadore 2009
  • San Paolo 2013

The Slow Wine Awards does not merely evaluate wines based on taste, but on the winemaking process, specifically artisanal techniques and environmental sustainability. The Slow Wine guide has been ranked as Italy’s best-selling wine guide.

Auguri, Barone Pizzini!

Forbes: “1671 Reasons Why We Will Never Be Bored By Italian Wine”

In her recent Forbes article “1671 Reasons Why We Will Never Be Bored By Italian Wine,” Cathy Huyghe sheds light on a forgotten memento of Italian wine history. A 1905 catalogue details over sixteen hundred varieties of Sardinian wines, many of which have been lost to time.

Huyghe reminds readers that today, only 15 kinds of grapes account for nearly 80% of all French wine, and in California, almost 80% of wine comes from merely eight grapes.

However, Huyghe writes, Italy boasts more than 500 native grapes. Oenophiles will “never be bored” by Italy’s vast array of choices, she claims. Italy’s wine is also locally grown, and each glass bestows the history and culture of the region. Huyghe also praises the entrepreneurial spirit of Italian winemakers, which is evident in the time worn catalogue.

Barone Pizzini and Pievalta exemplify the winemaking process Huyghe champions. Never boring, these wines embody the locally grown, entrepreneurial spirit of Italian winemaking. Not to mention the biodynamic nature of the nectar. A testament to the 1905 catalogue of the past, Barone Pizzini and Pievalta express the joy of Italy’s illustrious drink.

Vendemmia: Italian Harvest Time

“Vendemmia” in Italian means “grape harvest” that magical time of year when we begin the process of turning grapes to wine. It’s not nearly as simple as it might seem and even the most basic process of how becomes a difficult decision. Collecting grapes by hand, a costly but frequently used process, ensures only the ripest and healthiest grapes for are selected. Though cost effective, a mechanical machine is less able to distinguish between the best grapes for picking and those that are better left on the vine.

For tourists to Italy, the harvest can be a marvelous time to visit. Foodies who enjoy tastings and experiencing new flavors, a trip to Barone Pizzini Winery is an incredible treat as they are able to witness the birth of the wines, truly from the very beginning.

13015163_1232481653443698_3428064028085785388_nMany factors can influence the harvest and its final product. For example, the President of the Franciacorta Consortium and manager of Barone Pizzini Silvano Brescianini shared that the number of grape bunches and weights would be lower this year because of a sharp drop in nighttime temperatures during the flowering phrase. The grapes themselves are only picked at certain times of the day and even the smallest-seeming details can have a noticeable impact on the flavors of the wine cooler temperatures lead to a more appealing acidic balance in the final product.

If you are interested in traveling to Franciacorta, consider a visit during the harvest time  it’s a unique, unforgettable experience to witness and possibly even participate in the creation of wine.