Franciacorta is an Italian sparkling wine produced in the province of Brescia, Lombardy, from grapes grown in the Franciacorta area, between the lake Iseo and the city of Brescia, that has been granted DOCG status in 1995.
The grape grown in the area and permitted in the Franciacorta wine are Chardonnay, Pinot Bianco, Pinot Nero and from 2019, Erbamat, a native white grape characterised by a late ripening and high acidity that has been introduced to fight the effect of climate change. The Franciacorta wine is made using the traditional method, the same as for Champagne, with the secondary fermentation taking place in the bottle. Contrastingly, Prosecco is made using the Charmat or Marinotti method, where the secondary fermentation takes place in stainless steel tanks before bottling.
Franciacorta, Champagne and Cava are all classic method wines produced in different countries, respectively Italy, France and Spain and one their main difference is the length of the second fermentation, the wine fermenting on its own lees. Franciacorta has a minimum of 18 months, Champagne a minimum of 12 and Cava 9 months and this is for Non Vintage wines. The longer the second fermentation, the better, the more elegant, with a softer bubble, is the wine.
Franciacorta can be NV, Vintage or Millesimato, in these two cases all grapes used must be from the vintage on the label. Franciacorta can also be Rosé with at least 35% of Pinot nero, Satèn is the Blanc de blancs with only the use of Chardonnay and Pinot bianco permitted and Riserva, fermented for at least 5 years or 60 months on its own lees.
Franciacorta is not the only Italian classic method wine, there are plenty, many producers, from south to north, produce at least one traditional method sparkling wine with their best grapes.