Franciacorta is a sparkling wine from Lombardy - Italy with DOCG status produced from grapes grown within the borders of the region of Franciacorta, on the hills of a series of towns to the south of Lake Iseo in the Province of Brescia. It was awarded DOC status in 1967, the designation then also including red and white still wines. Since 1995 the DOCG classification has applied exclusively to the sparkling wines of the area.
Franciacorta became the first DOC to specify that its sparkling wines must be made by ‘Metodo Classico’. In 1990 the Consorzio per la tutela del Franciacorta was formed, instigating codes of self-regulation with a gradual reduction of yields and eliminating the use of Pinot Grigio, and responsible for the elevation of sparkling Franciacorta to DOCG in 1995.
Since August 1, 2003, Franciacorta has been the only Italian wine not obliged to declare its DOCG appellation on the label. There are 19 communes that make up Franciacorta wine area (including Brescia).
Grapes for Franciacorta are grown in strictly delimited vineyards in the communes of; Adro, Capriolo, Cazzago San Martino, Cellatica, Coccaglio, Cologne, Corte Franca, Erbusco, Gussago, Iseo, Monticelli Brusati, Ome, Paderno Franciacorta, Paratico, Passirano, Provaglio d'Iseo, Rodengo Saiano, Rovato and Brescia, with soils mineral-rich, granular-sized, calcareous gravel and sandy morainal soils that cover a limestone bedrock.
As of 2012, the DOCG vineyards cover 2,800 hectares and the distribution of permitted grape varieties are 82% Chardonnay, 14% Pinot Nero and 4% Pinot Bianco. From 2006 to 2013, worldwide sales of Franciacorta grew from 6.7 to 13.85 million bottles.
Non-vintage Franciacorta may not be released until at least 25 months after harvest, of which 18 months must be in contact with yeast in the bottle. Franciacorta Vintage or Millesimato may not be sold until at least 37 months after harvest, of which 37 months must be in contact with yeast. A Franciacorta Rosé must contain at least 15% Pinot Nero, Franciacorta Satèn must be a Blanc de Blancs with only the use of Chardonnay and/or Pinot Bianco. The designations for dosage are exactly the same as for Champagne.