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Franciacorta – the origin of the name and the history of both the territory and the sparkling wine

At times speaking about a region and its fruit can be a question of the masculine and feminine articles. The feminine article “la Franciacorta” is used to refer to the hilly area between Bergamo and Brescia which is covered with vineyards. Instead, the masculine article “il Franciacorta” refers to the wine which has undergone the second fermentation process inside the bottle. Let’s explore the story behind the world-famous name Franciacorta, which Terre d’Aenòr feels proud to represent with its products.

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Franciacorta – the origin and history of the land

A magical territory with a wine culture spanning more than a millenium. When you start speaking about Franciacorta, an area known for its high-quality sparkling wine, it is first necessary to look at the origin of its strange name. It is worth correcting a common misconception that the word Franciacorta is somehow connected with France. It isn’t.

During the medieval period the term “francae curtes” referred to an area close to lake Iseo occupied by a community of benedictine monks, who in return for tending the land were exempt from paying taxes.

The first historical mention of “Franzacurta” was in 1277. It referred to an area south of lake Iseo, between the rivers Oglio and Mella, which was an important zone used for supplying wine to the city of Brescia and which still today is synonymous with oenological excellence.

 

From “la Franciacorta” to “il Franciacorta”

In the Franciacorta hills vine cultivation dates back to ancient times. For example, at Provaglio d’Iseo (the location of our Terre d’Aenòr shop) grape seeds have been discovered that date back to the “palafitte” age. Furthermore classical authors such as Plinio and Virgilio wrote about this region’s deep connection with vine cultivation.

From the roman age through to the middle of the medieval age favourable climatic and soil conditions led to a prosperous period for the vine cultivation. The mild almost Mediterranean-like climate of lake Iseo met the fresh breeze coming from Val Camonica, which reduced both the night-time temperature drop and heavy frosts. In addition, the continuous ventilation helped avoid the problem of excessively damp areas of land.

Speaking of the land, the good soil owes a lot to the DNA of the morainic hills (resulting from the shrinking mass of ice over 10.000 years ago). The transportation, depositing and stratification of elements such as limestone, gravel, sand, clay and flint made Franciacorta vineyards unique and facilitated the growth of special vineyards like Chardonnay, Pinot blanc and Pinot noir. They form the base of Franciacorta wine, giving birth to products of excellence such as Brut, Satèn and Rosé.

 

The union between “il Franciacorta” and “la Franciacorta” results in birth of Terre d’Aenòr

The step from “la Franciacorta” to “il Franciacorta” is very short. The sparkling wine is a natural offspring and fitting tribute to the fertility of the land. “Il Franciacorta”, named after its territory, is the king of Italian sparkling wine.

When talking about Franciacorta wine, it is necessary to use its full title: Franciacorta DOCG. Guaranteeing a wine produced in only 19 defined municipalities following a strict wine production method, known as “the classical method.

This method is characterized by two separate fermentation stages. The first one takes place inside steel containers and small oak barrels, whilst the second one must occur in the final bottle. Thanks to this fundamental stage of the second fermentation the Franciacorta wine has a characteristically fine and lingering beed.

All of this contributes to making the Franciacorta of Terre d’Aenòr. We follow the most ancient vine cultivation traditions of the territory, rigorously applying an organic philosophy which permits us to offer a Franciacorta wine which is genuine, pleasant and natural.

Why not try Terre d’Aenòr?

Choose your next Franciacorta now.

 

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