Villa Franciacorta, Passion and Savoir-Faire
14th March 2023
Climate change is impacting all territories and activities linked to agriculture, including wine production.
The rise of temperature and the more and more dramatic drought is the cause of the reduction of production, a decrease of acidity and an increase of sugar content (and the alcohol) with the consequences of imbalance in the structure of the wine.
Obviously also the sparkling wine production areas are affected, but not all in the same way.
Within the Franciacorta area, in Italy, there is a small part that seems less or not at all impacted by climate change. It is the area to the northeast of the Franciacorta under the municipality of Monticelli Brusati. Due to the winds that blow from the north, both from the basin of Garda Lake and the Val Camonica, a valley that descends from the Alpine mountains towards Franciacorta.
We thus have an enclave that benefits from a favorable climate and has the necessary humidity for the perfect growth of the vines.
In this area is established the Villa Franciacorta Winery, an Estate founded in 1960 by Alessandro Bianchi that acquired a 16th century village with around 100 hectares of vineyard, wood, olive groves and cereals fields. After years of studies and tests, Alessandro started the winemaking business in 1978 with the first harvest and in 1981 the first bottle of sparkling wine was marketed. The name of that wine was “Pinot di Franciacorta” and a bottle is still on display in the cellar.
To date, Villa Franciacorta is managed by Alessandro’s daughter Roberta and her husband Paolo Pizziol; the sparkling wine production is around 250,000 bottles and all the wines are vintage, with no multi-year editions.
Due to the climate conditions and the specific soils that make up the 40 hectares of the entire Villa Franciacorta vineyard, the wines maintain a marked but not aggressive acidity and a sapidity that brings you back to the sea; indeed, the soils were, in the ancient times, at the bottom of the sea.
Although it is not indicated on the label, all the wines are organic and produced only with the grapes from the estate, with no purchase of external grapes also in the problematics years such as 2017 in which, due to hail, 80% of the surrender was destroyed.
We have had the opportunity to test some sparkling wines and we would like to underline:
Franciacorta DOCG Diamant 2016 (75% Chardonnay and 25% Pinot Noir, 60 months aging on the lees)
Long and thin perlage in the golden glass. Perfect balance between taste and smell. Fruit fragrancy, vanilla and croissant; acidity and sapidity declined over a long persistence.
Franciacorta DOCG Cuvette 2015 (85% Chardonnay and 15% Pinot noir, 66 months aging on the lees)
Born by the idea of Alessandro to produce a sparkling wine easy to pair. Lovely freshness guided by the scent of fruit.
Images belong to Paolo Valente and Glass of Bubbly was granted permission to use them.
Journalist and wine enthusiast, He loves to tell stories of people and places and is convinced that wine is above all the result of man's passion, work and intelligence.