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Franciacorta DOCG

Only a stone's throw east of Milan, Franciacorta DOCG located in the Brescia province of Lombardy, produces a little known world-class bottle-fermented, sparkling wines using a blend of Chardonnay, Pinot Nero and Pinot Bianco grapes. Top quality examples of the wine can easily be compared to Champagne in production style but they do have their own distinct identity loaded with energy, finesse and character, expressing clean fruit and savory mineral notes. Nearly 70% of the denomination’s cellars are certified organic or in the conversion process, making Franciacorta the highest percentage of organic producers of any denomination in the country.

These sparkling wines are produced using the Traditional or Classic Method of double fermentation in the bottles, which contrasts to the world famous prosecco, which uses the Charmat Method, where secondary fermentation occurs in large cold vats under pressure, before the wine is then bottled already sparkling.

A subcategory of white sparkling wine is also produced named Satèn (silk) bottled at a lower pressure than Champagne—about 4.5 atmospheres as opposed to 6 or 7. Satèn gives a soft mouthfeel that feels similar to less formal sparkling wines. These are generally made with 100% Chardonnay. The rosé will have a minimum of 35% Pinot Nero.

Non vintage Franciacorta must spend a minimum of 18 months on the lees, Satèn and rosé at least 24 months, vintage bottling a minimum of 30 months and riservas at least 60 months.

Sample Itineraries

Sparkling Winery Tour

Visit 1
Sommelier tour of the cellars at the first commercial sparkling winemaker
Visit 2
Visit a historical vineyard passed down from the Austrian Habsburg dynasty
Lunch at an Enoteca or Relais Chateau hotel
Visit 3
Visit one of the most innovative wine makers in Franciacorta


Berlucchi winery, is the largest producer in the denomination. In 1955, enologist Franco Ziliani, proposed to nobleman and wine producer Guido Berlucchi to make bottle-fermented wines. Together in 1961 they produced three thousand bottles of Pinot di Franciacorta. Today, Berlucci continues with a strong commitment to sustainability and waste reduction. Water requirements have halved and allergenic substances from its production process have been eliminated. An extensive solar-panel system has been installed on the roof, which supplies 35% of the winery's energy needs

Next to the historic cellar is Palazzo Lana Berlucchi constructed over medieval buildings by the Lana de’ Terzi, a local noble family and ancestors of Guido Berlucchi, the Palazzo exhibits an mixture of architectural styles within an overall external appearance from the 1600s plus a historic cellars 10 meters below ground level. Inside, one can admire the 1495 portrait of Caterina Cornaro, Queen of Cyprus; paintings that represent Brescia’s Castello; and equestrian-themed figures in the Room of the Horses, Hall of the Caminadù, and the imposing marble fireplace in the Sala del Camino will be of cultural interest to visitors.


Multi award winning Bottega wines and liquors can be found in 140 countries. Available in the most important duty-free shops and airlines, IWSR has ranked Bottega Gold as the top selling sparkling wine in travel retail. On the occasion of the 17th edition of the Decanter World Wine Awards, four wines were awarded silver medal: Valpolicella Ripasso Superiore (VTG 2017), Bottega Gold Prosecco DOC, Il Vino dei Poeti Prosecco Doc Brut, Bottega Rose Gold.

Ca’ del Bosco

Maurizio Zanella saw in Franciacorta a land that would generate the finest premium wines. He accomplished this with controlled environments, cutting-edge technology and tools, and innovative design. As soon as the grapes are picked, using special cases, they are graded and chilled. Each bunch is selected and entered into the “berry spa”, an exclusive air-bubble bunch-washing system that incorporates three soaking vats. The cleaner the grapes, the purer the wine and easier fermentation. Crushing in the absence of oxygen is followed by fermentation in small oak barrels or vats and gravity transfer of musts. Lees contact is extended and bottle closures are meticulously monitored. Ca’ del Bosco’s own specially designed bottling and disgorgement lines avoid oxidative stress.


Chardonnay accounts for more than 80% of the denomination’s vineyards, followed by Pinot Nero (Pinot Noir) (15%) and Pinot Bianco (5%). The region requires that producers to use these traditional selection of Champagne grapes. Most producers have eliminated Pinot Bianco, which lends floral aromas and citrus notes. Up to 10% of the indigenous Erbamat grape is allowed in the blend.

Franciacorta’s winemakers have noticed the effects of climate change, as warmer, drier summers push acidity levels lower. As part of its push to differentiate its brand, and combat the effects of climate change, several growers, have been experimenting with the native Erbamat grape, which ripens later and raises the acidity level and vibrancy


Franciacorta’s growing zone was created by retreating glaciers during the ice age, and left behind rolling hills of mineral-rich soils. The vineyards benefit from a warm Mediterranean-type microclimate from nearby Lake Iseo, tempered by cooling Alpine breezes from the northeast. The fresh air at night, generating strong day and night temperature changes that encourage optimal grape ripening. The cooler climates results sparkling wines offer freshness without the aggressive acidity. The winds help keep grapes healthy, which assists producers who practice organic viticulture and have to keep an eye on the potential for rot.


The renewed interest in Franciacorta by winemakers dates back to the late 1950s, when, there was a newfound understanding in the region’s potential to grow quality grapes suitable to make sparkling wine.  In 1967 Pinot di Franciacorta DOC was established for sparkling wines made from Pinot Blanc, Pinot Gris and Pinot Noir. In the mid 90s Franciacorta DOCG was established for the highest quality sparkling wines made from the same grapes as Champagne.

Multi Region Journeys

Franciacorta is the perfect stop en route to or from Milan on our Prosecco or Trento DOC sparkling wine route. After three winery visits and a fantastic lunch you will have seen the best of the area and understand why the quality of Franciacorta is compared to Champagne.

If you prefer not to visit Trento and head to Venice, we can plan winery stops in Soave, nestled among the gentle hills between Vicenza and Verona, well-known for the production of its white wine or red Valpolicella Classico Superiore in the lush green hills that surround the city of Verona.

Multi Region Journeys

  • Best of the Best

    Franciacorta / Trento DOC (2 days)

    Discover the best 90-97 point sparkling wines of Franciacorta
    Enoteca or gastronomic lunches
    Discover the best sparkling winemakers of Trento DOC
    Overnight at Art Hotel Byblos near Lake Garda

    Still & Sparkling

    Franciacorta / Trento DOC / Alto Adige (3 days))

    Discover the best winemakers of Trento DOC and Alto Adige wines
    Enoteca or Relais Chateau lunches
    Discover the best sparkling winemakers of Trento DOC
    Overnight at Art Hotel Byblos near Lake Garda plus a wine estate in Alto Adige

    Summer Sparklers

    Prosecco / Provence (5 days)

    Visit the best Prosecco wineries in Valdobbiadene
    Visit the Olympic Theater in Vicenza and the Scrovegni Chapel in Padua
    Fly to Nice and discover Rose Cru Class on the mountain route
    Return to Nice along the Provence coastal route

    Wine & Well Being

    Franciacorta / Trento DOC / Alto Adige / Kempstal / Prosecco (5-10 days)

    Visit the very best sparkling winemakers in Italy – classical method and Charmat method
    Discover artisanal winemakers and state of the art production facility
    Enjoy Michelin starred and vineyard lunches
    Overnight at 5 star wine resorts and Relais Chateaux
    Summer: 1 to 2 days of vineyard visits & 3 days of Biking, Hiking, Spa Treatment
    Winter: 1 to 2 days of vineyard visit & 3 to 5 days of Ski & Spa
    Connect to our sparkling wine routes in Trento, Kempstal (Vienna) or Prosecco (Venice)
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