Trentodoc, Franciacorta & Prosecco – 3 Northern Italian Giants
12th January 2021
I am sure that out of these three famous wine regions you will have at least heard of one, that being ‘Prosecco‘. Over recent years the emergence and popularity of Prosecco has been global with favourable sales figures, reviews and a growing fan base. Loved by many and loathed by few, Prosecco has been the fizz of choice now, here in the UK for the past year and more.
“I am very fortunate to be writing this article with great memories of frequent visits to these wonderful wine regions. Not only enjoying the wines, wineries and vineyards, but also taking in great dining and tourism experiences. From fine bubbles on Lake Iseo to banquets at Prosecco houses, I can confidently say that these three regions are some of the best that wine tourism has to offer.“
Most people will recognise that Prosecco comes from Italy though fewer will know that it is from the northern part of the country and this wine growing region also wraps around the famous touristic hotspot of Venice. For those wanting to visit the quite incredible delights of Prosecco then it could not be simpler in that it is a short, usually budget style costing, flight from London to Venice of just 2 hours 15 minutes. Once at Venice you can take off in many directions to explore the wonders of the wine tourism opportunities Prosecco holds.
So that is one giant covered and I have listed two others so without further ado, I would like to introduce Trentodoc and Franciacorta. Unlike the Prosecco region which produces most of its sparkling wine by a faster tank method, the Trentodoc and Franciacorta use the traditional method meaning that more time, effort and qualities goes into the final wine produced.
Trentodoc (sparkling wine) is part of the Trentino Alto-Adige wine region of northern Italy and the main city of Trento sits a north westerly direction from Venice of around 150km, some two and a half hour car drive or a train journey taking you three and a half hours. It holds a wonderful Alpine fresh character with the beautiful Dolomite Mountains offering breathtaking views along with 70% of the region’s vineyards that lie 3,280 feet or more above sea level.
Many will argue that the Trentodoc sparkling wine is easily as good as Champagne and that I can certainly agree with. Some of the world’s finest traditional method sparkling wines come from Trentodoc which bubbly wine production can date back to 1902 and that of Ferrari (Giulio Ferrari, some will say is the ‘father’ of Italian sparkling wine).
The last of these giants I would like to introduce is Franciacorta. Situated in the Lombardia wine region and some 200km east of Venice and only 80km or so from Milan – Franciacorta wine region is a small one and south-east off from the foot of Lake Iseo.
Lake Iseo (4th largest lake in Italy) is its most famous tourist attraction and this wonderful stretch of water holds beautiful lakeside villages that you can dock at with sublime restaurants and bars with panoramic views to die for. From there you can explore down into the Franciacorta wine region with over 100 wineries to visit and countless fine wine examples to taste.
Award Winning Sparkling Wines from Trentodoc, Franciacorta and Prosecco:
I thought I would choose some lesser known labels that still hold a delightful expression of flavours that shows the characters each region holds both in winemaking skills and the terroir itself.
Trentodoc – Cantina Rotaliana – Riserva Brut 2011:
Here is a label that really introduced me to the splendours of Trentodoc sparkling wine. The 2011 (and especially the 2010) vintages give me that aroma feeling of walking into a French patisserie and gazing over the pastry delights on offer – The reason why many will suggest that the Trento DOC region is so similar to that of Champagne.
R Riserva Brut Trentodoc tasting notes: “Still a wow tasting experience rather like my previous experience of this label. Caramel, toffee, hints of coffee / cocoa, ripe golden fruits on the nose. You are so very tempted to taste! Flavours are ever so pleasing. Golden fruits, touch of tropical, butter croissant with soft citrus hints. Leave it to breathe in the glass, improves the longer you can resist it. A nice warm golden colour to the wine. Big thumbs up from a special sparkling wine region of Italy.”
Visit their website: www.cantinarotaliana.it/en/Our-Wines/Trentodoc/R-Riserva-Brut
Franciacorta – Villa Franciacorta – Boke Rose Brut:
“Values such as tradition, the land, the family. The value of tradition to better face the future, to innovate without forgetting. The immeasurable value of a unique terroir that Villa has expressed for more than half a century through its fine wines.”
A winery that I am yet to visit though I have learnt a lot of since they entered the 2020 Glass of Bubbly Awards. Villa Franciacorta is a refreshing brand with high respect for history and sustainability yet expressing immense amounts of innovations and vision. The wines are of great standard and with clean brand identity.
Bokè Franciacorta Rosé 2014 tasting notes: “A rosé with strong characters. Nose offers a pink floral, red berry fruit edge with also some orange blossom almost tangerine skin hint. Good fresh red fruit flavours, dry length with minerals, touch of raspberry pastry and cream towards the close.”
Visit their website: www.villafranciacorta.it
Prosecco – L’Antica Quercia – Rive di Scomigo Brut Matiu:
This winery is very focused on respecting the terroir that gives it the wonderful harvests and splendid wines that we can all enjoy, a shining example of award winning Prosecco. I have been there myself and it is a very welcoming visit with glorious views and locations to taste their fizz from small cabin style lodges to a wonderful very senior oak tree with views over sloping vineyards.
Visit their website: www.anticaquercia.it/en/
Matiù Prosecco Superiore DOCG Rive di Scomigo tasting notes: “Fresh and clear. Green fruits and apple hints on the nose with a sprinkling of white floral notes. Flavours and clean and refreshing showing green pear, White Transparent apples, minerals.”
Co-founder of Glass of Bubbly. Journalist and author focused on Champagne & Sparkling Wines and pairing them with foods.