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.