Franciacorta - know the styles


Italy’s premium bottle-fermented sparkling wine produced near Brescia was once a local secret; now it’s an international attraction. We look at it in two episodes; this one examines the different styles of this sparkling wine. In September, we will look at the background to this up-and-coming denomination.


Franciacorta is the result of synthesising ancient knowledge and know-how, passed down through the generations, and technological evolution. It’s the perpetuation of tradition through the work of winegrowers ready to challenge and improve on that tradition at every step. Thanks to a production method regulated by strict and scrupulous standards, this wine has become synonymous with absolute quality, made from hand picked grapes harvested from noble vines, naturally fermented in the bottle, and subjected to slow maturation on the lees - not less than 18 months, 30 months for Millesimato wines and 60 months for Riserva wines.

Franciacorta, produced with Chardonnay, Pinot Nero and Pinot Bianco grapes, is perfect for all occasions: from the aperitif to the main course, from the simplest to the most complex food recipes.

Sight: intense, straw-yellow colour with golden reflections and a fine and persistent perlage.

Nose: typical for bottle fermented sparkling wines - hints of bread crust and yeast, enriched with delicate notes of citrus fruit and dried fruit such as almonds, hazelnuts, and dried figs.

Palate: savoury, refreshing, and elegant.


Grapes: Chardonnay and/or Pinot Nero, with Pinot Bianco up to 50% maximum and up to 10% Erbamat

Vinification: bottle fermentation for a minimum of 18 months on the lees; maturing and ageing for at least 25 months after the harvest. Bottle pressure between 5 and 6 bars.

Franciacorta Satèn

Grapes: Chardonnay (mostly) and Pinot Bianco up to a maximum of 50%.
Vinification: Satèn is Franciacorta’s own special category of wine. A smooth taste is produced by a careful selection of base wines and a lower pressure in the bottle, below 5 bars. Produced only as Brut.

Franciacorta Rosé

Grapes: Chardonnay, Pinot Bianco (max 50%), Pinot Nero (min 25%), maximum 10% Erbamat.
Characteristics: Pinot Nero grapes are allowed to ferment in contact with the skins for the time needed to give the wine the desired shade of pink. Made with a Pinot Nero base wine vinified entirely as a rosé (100%) or assembled using Chardonnay and/or Pinot Bianco base wines with the Pinot Nero base wine.

Franciacorta, Franciacorta Satèn and Franciacorta Rosé can acquire greater character, complexity and refinement with longer periods of maturation and bottle ageing. This is the case with Franciacorta Millesimato (Vintage) and Franciacorta Riserva.

Translated by ICY

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