Visiting Franciacorta – Lombardy, Italy

Franciacorta has the strictest wine production rules in the world and is considered the Italian Champagne – it’s made using the same method of production (Champenoise).

Visiting Franciacorta – Lombardy, Italy

Franciacorta has the strictest wine production rules in the world and is considered the Italian Champagne – it’s made using the same method of production (Champenoise).

We’re off to Franciacorta and it’s that old favourite of having to be at Gatwick for 4.30am. You know, when your alarm goes off at 2.30am and you genuinely consider just cancelling and going back to sleep. Not today thank you. But you soldier on like the trooper you are and sleep shower/walk/train ride your way to the airport. It’s always OK to have a beer for breakfast at 5am if you’re in an airport right?

We land in Milan – hazy from plane drinks and sleep deprivation – and our designated leader/driver/wine merchant extraordinaire, Luca, locates the minivan we’re hiring. There’s six of us on the trip and Terry (my colleague) and I have decided to DJ from the back seat. Which means my spotify doesn’t know what’s hit it. Think Shout out to my Ex by Little Mix on repeat. No apologies made, also no new friends made.

About Franciacorta

Franciacorta has the strictest wine production rules in the world and is considered the Italian Champagne – it’s made using the same method of production (Champenoise) and with classic grape varieties such as Chardonnay, Pinot Nero and Pinot Bianco. It is, some might say, just as great in quality and in taste as Champagne – hope I haven’t offended any French or Italian people here!

La Montina

Many, many plays of Little Mix later and we in Franciacorta at a beautiful winery called La Montina. It’s a picturesque villa in the north east of Lombardy near the stunning Lake Iseo – everything you could want from a trip to Italy. 

We go straight into the tasting (great news) where we try so many vintages and  different cuvées and some of the vintages are just incredible (Champagne who, sorry?) the 2009 Brut especially so! We go through the production process, from vineyard to bottle (a different post on that soon), we have dinner and we drink the remainder of the wines from the tasting, plus a few more… Do I fall over standing up to shake the wine-makers hand before we all head up to sleep? Sure, but who hasn’t done that?

The La Montina estate has been producing wine since 1620, but only seriously since 1982 when it was taken over by three brothers from the Bozza family – Gian Carlo, Vittorio and Alberto. They transformed the run down vineyards and estate into a beautiful and functioning winery. They gradually took on more land until they had 72 hectares and the underground winery was expanded to 7,450m squared with a storage capacity of 3,000,000 bottles.

La Montina is a special winery in that it uses a very rare piece of equipment called a vertical Marmonier press, made by local artisans and friends of the La Montina estate. The aim is to maximise the quality of the juice during pressing and there are only two in the whole region. The press very, very gently presses the grapes without breaking the skins, extracting only 35-40% of the juice, which is soft and flavoursome, and not bitter or tannic at all. Along with top-quality winemaking the result is a delicious, gentle and satisfying wine.

Let us know if you fancy trying a La Montina wine in your next box and we’ll see what we can do!

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