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Franciacorta is a winemaking zone, famous for the production of sparkling Italian wines.
Territorially this area, that is about 200 square kilometers, is located in the heart of Lombardy, between the cities of Bergamo and Brescia, down along the southern coast of Lake Iseo, and includes 19 communes of the province of Brescia.
There were located the ancient glaciers in this area, which had melted about 10,000 years ago, and in this way had formed a surface with soft hills and a specific microclimate. Thanks to the history of origins, this land is very rich in minerals, and, in a combination with the variety of different ground layers, gives a lot of special characteristics to all viticultures, growing here.
Despite its old origins, Franciacorta, in a form that we can see it today, is considered like enough young wine-making zone. The winemaking traditions were already born here in ancient times and had continued until the middle of 20th century in a great combination with favorable natural and climatic conditions. Then in the second half of the 20th century, it was decided to concentrate in this region the production of some certain varieties of wines.
In 1967, by decree of the President of the Republic, Franciacorta was officially recognized as a qualified DOC area (Denominazione di Origine Controllata). After more than 20 years, in March 1990, the producers took a decision to be united in the Consortium to preserve the traditions and represent the interests of the production method of Franciacorta wine worldwide.
The history of the origin of the name Franciacorta is very interesting. Who speaks Italian, can easily think the etymology of this word may be quite simple: Francia translates from Italian like “France”, and corta means “short, small”. A sort of “Little France”. And in fact, there is an extraordinary resemblance with the French wine regions, such as Burgundy, for example. Endless green hills, velvet fields of grapes, small villages, castles, and monasteries among the vineyards.
There are several theories of the history of this name. Some of them are tending to the fact that it could be born in the first half of the 15th century when French troops were dominating on this territory before and during the seizure of the city of Brescia.
Other sources and specialists of Franciacorta affirm that actually, the name comes from the fact that the groups of Benedictine monks for many centuries had settled in this area and had formed a number of monasteries and courtyards (corti) and preserving the traditions of winemaking. It’s known the fact that such monastic courtyards were exempted from paying the taxes, that in Italian means Franche. And in this way had been created the name corti franche, which later could be transformed into Franciacorta.
Whatever was the true origin of this word, today it characterizes the territory, Italian sparkling wine and the production method, which meets many strict requirements for certification of the quality of Italian product.
Vacations in Franciacorta is a great memorable experience, rich in various discoveries. Starting from wine tastings and gastronomic pleasures, excursions to historical places and tours among the vineyards, you can also learn the secrets of winemaking traditions in a combination with a lot of activities, and even sports entertainment.
The official website of Franciacorta: www.franciacorta.net
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