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The territory of Franciacorta, from Latin "franchae curtes", which means "exempted from paying duties", is a section of the Province of Brescia in the Italian Region of Lombardy. Franciacorta extends from Mount Orphan in the southwest area to the shores of Lake Iseo in the north, and from the river Oglio in the western border to the city of Brescia in the eastern one. The physical conformation characterised by rolling hills was shaped by glacial action.
The area has been inhabited since Palaeolithic times with archaeological records left by Gauls — the Cenomani of Brixia (modern Brescia), Romans and Lombards. The name Franciacorta, attested in 1277, is thought to derive from curtes francae, the fortified courts of the Frankish empire established in the 8th century.
The most respected wine producers of Franciacorta's sparkling and still wines are: Berlucchi, Bellavista and Ca' del Bosco. Others include Mosnel, Muratori, Lantieri, Majolini, Ferghettina and Cavalleri.
To promote enotourism the district established the "Strada del Vino Franciacorta" on the model of the famed German Wine Route (Weinstraße) in 2001.
Finally, the local circuit has hosted the World RX of Italy and the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series.
The soil, composed of glacial moraines consisting of gravel and sand over limestone, is ideal for the cultivation of grapes and winemaking. The weather is mild and constant due to its location in the southern foothills of the Alps and the tempering presence of large lakes.
The Franciacorta territory extends on the surface of the following municipalities all located in the province of Brescia: Adro, Capriolo, Castegnato, Cazzago San Martino, Cellatica, Coccaglio, Cologne, Corte Franca, Erbusco, Gussago, Iseo, Monticelli Brusati, Ome, Paderno Franciacorta, Paratico, Passirano, Provaglio d'Iseo, Rodengo-Saiano and Rovato. The area, mostly hilly and once strewn with woods, has recently been transformed by the planting of many vineyards. The local authorities are committed to safeguarding the landscape and to conserve it both from the physical side and from the historical and cultural points of view. In fact, there are numerous architectural ancient testimonies such as: monasteries, churches, abbeys, villas and castles of the Middle Ages. Rodengo is home to a Cluniac foundation, the Abbey of St. Nicholas, which has been inhabited by Olivetan monks since 1446. Other places of interest are the castle of Passirano and the Romanesque church of Provaglio d'Iseo.
At the southern border of Franciacorta is located the Mount Orphan which reaches 451m of maximum altitude.
The vineyards of Franciacorta were planted in ancient times, as witnessed by the grape seeds from prehistoric times and the archaeological material found throughout the territory. There are also other testimonies of classical authors such as Plinio and Columella a Virgilio. Through historiographical evidences it is possible to trace the passage of different peoples: the Cenomani Gauls, the Romans and the Lombards. The most abundant material is the Roman one and consists mainly of commemorative funeral inscriptions and military stones. Also some places' names and localities' names, such as Cazzago and Gussago, come from Roman courtesy.
The most valuable archaeological resource is the temple architrave (from Erbusco) that was brought to Brescia and then walled in the facade of the palace of Monte di Pietà della Loggia.
Despite boasting a long history, the new course of viticulture of Franciacorta began in all respects at the beginning of the Sixties with the birth of the first wineries. At the end of the Seventies, Italian enology experienced a period of great ferment and in Franciacorta several entrepreneurs invested and focused on the cultivation of vineyards. In fact, even today many wineries that produce Franciacorta have been founded by entrepreneurs from Brescia and province. Afterwards the growth has been very fast until today's Franciacorta fame, a national reference for the wine's production with the classic method.
The production and marketing of bubbles has become increasingly important in the last twenty years, so as to boast the DOCG brand and be known in the wine world for the high quality achieved. The name "Franciacorta" has over time become synonymous with the same DOCG sparkling wine produced in the many vineyards of the area.
Since July 2008, with the publication of the new specification, the name of the DOC "Terre di Franciacorta", used for red and white still wines, has been replaced with Curtefranca.
Today the area is just over two thousand hectares, its increase, which was considerable in the first decade of the 2000s, has now slowed sharply partly because of the global crisis. In fact, no further major growth developments are expected in the coming years. The slowdown is also due to some choices of the consortium Franciacorta aimed at not creating an excess of supply in order to safeguard the producers currently present on the territory.
In 1995 Franciacorta was assigned the first refermented in Italian bottle with the denomination DOCG. This is obtained from Chardonnay and/or Pinot N
oir and/or Pinot Blanc grapes and is produced in three types: Franciacorta, Franciacorta Satèn and Franciacorta Rosé. In addition to these, Millesimato and Riserva, which require longer aging, are also produced. Franciacorta has also two other DOC denominations: a white wine and a red wine.
The wine cellars are over one hundred and some are located in buildings of artistic and architectural interest. They are open to the public, so the visitor can learn about the methods of wine production, participate in tastings and buy the product.
Sparkling wine is a wine with significant levels of carbon dioxide in it, making it fizzy. While the phrase commonly refers to champagne, EU countries legally reserve that term for products exclusively produced in the Champagne region of France. Sparkling wine is usually either white or rosé, but there are examples of red sparkling wines such as the Italian Brachetto, Bonarda and Lambrusco, and the Australian sparkling Shiraz. The sweetness of sparkling wine can range from very dry brut styles to sweeter doux varieties.
Pinot noir is a red wine grape variety of the species Vitis vinifera. The name may also refer to wines created predominantly from Pinot noir grapes. The name is derived from the French words for pine and black. The word pine alludes to the grape variety having tightly clustered, pine cone-shaped bunches of fruit.
The Province of Brescia is a Province in Lombardy, northern Italy. It has a population of some 1,265,964 and its capital is the city of Brescia.
German wine is primarily produced in the west of Germany, along the river Rhine and its tributaries, with the oldest plantations going back to the Roman era. Approximately 60 percent of German wine is produced in the state of Rhineland-Palatinate, where 6 of the 13 regions (Anbaugebiete) for quality wine are situated. Germany has about 103,000 hectares of vineyard, which is around one tenth of the vineyard surface in Spain, France or Italy. The total wine production is usually around 10 million hectoliters annually, corresponding to 1.3 billion bottles, which places Germany as the eighth-largest wine-producing country in the world. White wine accounts for almost two thirds of the total production.
Prosecco is an Italian DOC or DOCG white wine produced in a large area spanning nine provinces in the Veneto and Friuli Venezia Giulia regions, and named after the village of Prosecco which is in the province of Trieste, Italy. It is made from the Prosecco grape but denomination rules allow up to 15% of the wine to be other permitted varieties. Prosecco is almost always made in sparkling or semi-sparkling style, but a still wine is also permitted. Within the larger designation are two small DOCG areas, Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco in the hills between the towns of Conegliano and Valdobbiadene, and Asolo Prosecco around the nearby town of Asolo. Prosecco Superiore is always spumante and comes only from these DOCG areas.
Italian wine is produced in every region of Italy, home to some of the oldest wine-producing regions in the world. Italy is the world's largest producer of wine, with an area of 702,000 hectares under vineyard cultivation, and contributing a 2013–2017 annual average of 48.3 million hl of wine. In 2018 Italy accounted for 19 percent of global production, ahead of France and Spain. Italian wine is both exported around the world and popular domestically among Italians, who consume an average of 42 litres per capita, ranking fifth in world wine consumption.
Soave is a dry white Italian wine from the Veneto region in northeast Italy, principally around the city of Verona. Within the Soave region are both a Denominazione di Origine Controllata (DOC) zone and since 2001 a Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita (DOCG) designation known as Soave Superiore, with both zones being further sub-divided into a general and Classico designation for the wines produced in the heartland of the Soave region around the sloping vineyards of Verona.
Aglianico del Vulture and Aglianico del Vulture Superiore are Italian red wines based on the Aglianico grape and produced in the Vulture area of Basilicata. Located on volcanic soils derived from nearby Mount Vulture, it was awarded Denominazione di Origine Controllata (DOC) status in 1971. The Superiore was elevated to a separate Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita (DOCG) status in 2011, the only DOCG wine in Basilicata.
New Zealand wine is produced in several winegrowing regions of New Zealand. The country's elongated island geography in the South Pacific Ocean results in maritime climates with considerable regional variation from north to south. Like many other New World wines, it is usually produced and labelled as single varietal wines, or if blended the varietal components are listed on the label. New Zealand is best known for its Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc, and more recently its dense, concentrated Pinot Noir from Marlborough, Martinborough and Central Otago.
The state of Oregon in the United States has established an international reputation for its production of wine, ranking fourth in the country behind California, Washington, and New York. Oregon has several different growing regions within the state's borders that are well-suited to the cultivation of grapes; additional regions straddle the border between Oregon and the states of Washington and Idaho. Wine making dates back to pioneer times in the 1840s, with commercial production beginning in the 1960s.
Lombardia (Lombardy) wine is the Italian wine produced in the Lombardy region of north central Italy. The region is known particularly for its sparkling wines made in the Franciacorta and Oltrepò Pavese areas. Lombardy also produces still red, white and rosé wines made from a variety of local and international grapes including Nebbiolo wines in the Valtellina region, Trebbiano di Lugana white wines produced with the Chiaretto style rosé along the shores of Lake Garda. The wine region currently has 15 Denominazione di origine controllata (DOC), 3 Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita (DOCG) and 13 Indicazione Geografica Tipica (IGT) designations. The main cities of the region are Milan, Bergamo and Brescia. The region annually produces around 1.3 million hectolitres of wine, more than the regions of Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Marche, Trentino-Alto Adige/Südtirol and Umbria.
Tuscan wine is Italian wine from the Tuscany region. Located in central Italy along the Tyrrhenian coast, Tuscany is home to some of the world's most notable wine regions. Chianti, Brunello di Montalcino and Vino Nobile di Montepulciano are primarily made with Sangiovese grape whereas the Vernaccia grape is the basis of the white Vernaccia di San Gimignano. Tuscany is also known for the dessert wine Vin Santo, made from a variety of the region's grapes. Tuscany has forty-one Denominazioni di origine controllata (DOC) and eleven Denominazioni di Origine Controllata e Garantita (DOCG). In the 1970s a new class of wines known in the trade as "Super Tuscans" emerged. These wines were made outside DOC/DOCG regulations but were considered of high quality and commanded high prices. Many of these wines became cult wines. In the reformation of the Italian classification system many of the original Super Tuscans now qualify as DOC or DOCG wines but some producers still prefer the declassified rankings or to use the Indicazione Geografica Tipica (IGT) classification of Toscana. Tuscany has six sub-categories of IGT wines today.
Friuli-Venezia Giulia wine is wine made in the northeastern Italian region of Friuli-Venezia Giulia. Once part of the Venetian Republic and with sections under the influence of the Austro-Hungarian Empire for some time, the wines of the region have noticeable Slavic and Germanic influences. There are 11 Denominazione di origine controllata (DOC) and 3 Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita (DOCG) in the Friuli-Venezia Giulia area. The region has 3 Indicazione Geografica Tipica (IGT) designations Alto Livenza, delle Venezie and Venezia Giulia. Nearly 62% of the wine produced in the region falls under a DOC designation. The area is known predominantly for its white wines which are considered some of the best examples of Italian wine in that style. Along with the Veneto and Trentino-Alto Adige/Südtirol, the Friuli-Venezia Giulia forms the Tre Venezie wine region which ranks with Tuscany and Piedmont as Italy's world class wine regions.
The Colli Orientali del Friuli is a Denominazione di origine controllata (DOC) located in the Italian wine region of Friuli-Venezia Giulia. The region is located in the province of Udine and is sub-divided into three main sections; Ramandolo in the north, Cialla and Corno di Rosazzo. The climate and soil is very similar to the neighboring DOC of Collio Goriziano and the two region share many winemaking similarities as well. The main distinction between the Colli Orientali del Friuli and Collio Goriziano lie in the increased red and dessert wine production of the Colli Orientali del Friuli. The region also includes within its boundaries the three Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita (DOCG) of the Friuli-Venezia Giulia Ramandolo and the two passito wine DOCGs of Colli Orientali del Friuli Picolit and Colli Orientali del Friuli Picolit-Cialla.
Ancient Rome played a pivotal role in the history of wine. The earliest influences on the viticulture of the Italian peninsula can be traced to ancient Greeks and the Etruscans. The rise of the Roman Empire saw both technological advances in and burgeoning awareness of winemaking, which spread to all parts of the empire. Rome's influence has had a profound effect on the histories of today's major winemaking regions in France, Germany, Italy, Portugal and Spain.
Franciacorta[frantʃaˈkorta] is a sparkling wine from the Province of Brescia (Lombardy) with DOCG status. It is produced using the traditional method from grapes grown within the boundaries of the territory of Franciacorta, on the hills located between the southern shore of Lake Iseo and the city of Brescia. It was awarded DOC status in 1967, the designation then also including red and white still wines. Since 1995 the DOCG classification has applied exclusively to the sparkling wines of the area.
Bethel Heights Vineyard is an Oregon winery in the Eola-Amity Hills AVA of the Willamette Valley. Founded in 1977 by twin brothers Ted and Terry Casteel, their wives Pat Dudley and Marilyn Webb, and Pat's sister Barbara Dudley, the vineyard was one of the earliest plantings in the Eola-Amity Hills region. A winery soon followed, with the first estate wines produced in 1984. Bethel Heights specializes in Pinot noir, offering several individual block and vineyard designated bottlings, but also produces wines made from Chardonnay, Pinot gris, Pinot blanc, Riesling, Grüner Veltliner, and Gewürztraminer.
Mastroberardino is an Italian winery located in Atripalda, in Provincia di Avellino, in the Campania region. Founded in 1878, the winery is known for its production of Taurasi DOCG as well as its ampelography work in identifying and preserving ancient grape varieties like Greco and Fiano. The work of the Mastroberardino family, particularly Antonio Mastroberardino, in this field is widely respected and Antonio is often called "The Grape Archaeologist".
Ca' del Bosco is an Italian wine producer in Lombardy founded in 1969. The winery has over 230 acres in the Lombardy region; its vineyards are planted to Chardonnay, Pinot Bianco, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Pinot Nero and other indigenous grapes. Winemaker Maurizio Zanella was the driving force behind the sparkling wine Franciacorta DOCG. According to Tom Stevenson, the Franciacorta region is "the only compact wine area producing world class sparkling wine in Italy".