Full day wine tour of Franciacorta district by private luxury car
English speaking guide/wine expert
Visit two selected local wineries
Discover the natural and artistic heritage of the Franciacorta area
FRANCIACORTA, THE FINE ITALIAN CHAMPAGNE
If you have neverheard of “Franciacorta, the fine Italian Champagne”, just take your time and read this text, you may feel like booking our tour!
This district is about one hour drive east bound from Milan, precisely in the province of Brescia, and was created by the retreat of ancient glaciers that deposited massive amounts of morainic soils rich in minerals.
Since the ancient times, this fertile land of green hills have encouraged communities of shepherds and farmers to settle and prosper, thanks to the warm mists of the Lake Iseoon the north, and the navigability of the Oglio Riverwest bound for the transportation of goods to the vaste Padana plain.
From the hotel where you are staying in Milan or another town in the Region, our expert guide will take you to the A4 highway by private luxury car, exit at the nearest station and start your trip through an extended area of rocky hills as far as the eye can see.
Like pencil tips on hilltops, Middle Age watchtowersoverlook 7.900 acres of vineyards for the production of fine sparkling wines, made from the Champenois method of the second fermentation in the bottle.
Due to the favorable weather conditions vine growing dates back centuries, but contemporary wine industry began in the early 1960’s.
As you drive towards Lake d’Iseo you come across Guido Berlucchi estate renowned for the first bottle of “Metodo Classico” in 1961, the founder of Franciacorta sparkling wine style which was classified as DOC quality brand in 1967 and DOCG top qualityone in 1995.
Today this wine area boasts 17,6 million bottlesa year, mostly addressed to the domestic market, while 11,3% is exported to Switzerland, Japan, Germany, United States and Great Britain.
The “Franciacorta, the fine Italian Champagne” tour provides an exciting tasting of the full range of local appellations in a selected winery, including the basic nonvintage Franciacorta, the smooth and flowery Satèn version made with only Chardonnay grapes,
the crispy Rosébased on a short maceration of Pinot Noir pomace, and the concentrated Riserva that requires 30 months aging.
Moreover you will learn how the wines are made today in respect with the old amateur methods which could notachieve substantial results.
Your “Franciacorta, the fine Italian Champagne” tour continues witha savory lunch in the Lake d’Iseo surroundings.
Its shores are punctuated by 15 small towns which testify the strategic location on the way north to Switzerland, and the great charme of the landscape around.
Traditional dishes are strongly rooted both in the country cuisine and the delicious fish from the Lake.
The former used to be quite rusticso that many recipes were lightened in order to satisfy the taste of the most demanding guests.
You may begin with the Montisola Salami, whose name derives from Monte Isola, the largest Lake island in Europe, right in the middle of Iseo Lake.
It’s a rich and slightly smoked salami, aged a few months in red wine, best served with a proper glass of Franciacorta Brut.
For a strictly local Entrée, we suggest you the fresh grilled Sardines seasoned with extra- virgin Olive oil and parsley, served with crunchy Corn meal, followed by roasted Tenchor deep fry Bleak, marinated the day before in dry white wine, garlic and parsley.
Meat lovers will get excited for the compelling array of beef based stews, enriched with different ingredients according to the seasons, and the wood-fired chicken on the spit, accompanied by salads of wild vegetables, Radicchio or baby arugula…..
Lombardy excels in dairy production too, so don’t give up a sampling of Gorgonzola, the smelly blue cheese, or a bite of Taleggio, a soft smooth cow cheese, enhanced by a glass of sweet Franciacorta Dry.
Your guide will point out several Medieval lookout towers around the lake, once owned by rich noble families as suburban Villas or fortresses for defensive purposes.
Over time they were converted into wine estates, sometimes they became part of the public artistic heritage with large flower gardens, Italian and English-style ones and century old trees: worth mentioning the Castello di Bornato, Castello Oldofredi di Iseo, Castello Quistini at Rovato, Castello Lantieri at Paratico.
In the afternoon there will be time for a further tasting in a boutique winery, with little production of bottles per year, and a constant interest in lost rare native grapes like the Erbamat, that helps raise the acidity level in the wines.Take the chance of talking to the winemaker, and sample the fruit of the family’s efforts.
At the end of the “Franciacorta, the fine Italian Champagne” tour you will be driven back to your hotel.
NEW! Walks inside Italy suggested options
You can also spend the whole afternoon in the Lake d’Iseo area in company of your guide. Take advantage of your private luxury car and discover the laid back life of the local communities, the lovely views from scenic spots, and the relaxing atmosphere of the off-the-beaten trackdestinations.
A further alternative for nature lover travelers, is the walking trail in a natural reserve just southof Iseo, the “Torbiere del Sebino”, a 890 acres moorland run by the Lombardy Region. From the mid-19th through the next century, this area was exploited for mining purposes due to the need of peat as a source of energy for the national industry. The systematic excavations lasted until 1950’s, and later Regional administration decided to preserve this peculiar natural habitat, home of rare pieces of plants and animals.
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