This article, written by Jennifer Kester, appears on Forbes.
Why You Need To Visit Italy’s Secret Sparkling Wine Region
Italy’s answer to champagne is franciacorta, the country’s best-kept wine secret. Franciacorta—a name that refers to the territory, the production method and the vino—is a small bucolic wine region whose sloping hills overlook the shores of Lake Iseo. Sitting an hour east of Milan, it’s a popular wine-tasting getaway for Italians, but the destination hasn’t yet caught on in the United States.
“It’s a hidden gem,” says Hristo Zisovski, beverage director of the Altamarea Group, whose Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star restaurants Marea, Ai Fiori and Costata all serve franciacorta in New York City. “The wines are delicious and represent the best in the world.”
The sparkler carries a richer and more complex flavor than the lightweight, fruity prosecco. The straw-yellow franciacorta is a blend of chardonnay (a minimum of 50 percent), pinot noir and pinot blanc grapes (a maximum of 50 percent). Franciacorta was the first sparkling wine in Italy to receive the highest designation of quality (DOCG) and the self-imposed regulations for the wines are even stricter than those used in Champagne. Read more on Forbes.