Few other wineries can boast of such a close bond with the terrain surrounding them as Berlucchi does with Franciacorta.
This is a story that begins with a meeting between Guido Berlucchi - a nobleman in search of an enological consultant - and the young and enterprising enologist Franco Ziliani, who asked him: "What if we were to make a sparkling wine in the French style?" It was on that occasion that the challenging idea was born of trying their hand at the production of a classic Italian method in the province of Brescia.
After a few unhappy vintages, it was with the 1961 harvest and the first three thousand bottles produced that the Franciacorta that we all know today was born – a true enological jewel.
The company, now led by Franco Ziliani's three children - Cristina, Arturo and Paolo - celebrates its 60th anniversary in 2021, on a path that now sees Quality and Sustainability as the "cornerstones" for the decade that has just begun.
The company entered the new millennium by continuing the founder's mission, focused on innovation and the enhancement of the terrain; becoming a brand that is now recognised worldwide as synonymous with Franciacorta and quality, but also with modern research into sustainability.
For more than 20 years, Guido Berlucchi has been committed to environmental and social projects. This focus was made concrete in 2020 with the publication of the company's first Sustainability Report, the most accurate for an Italian sparkling wine appellation.
The Report analyses the path undertaken by the company by "scanning" the improvements generated - on the 85 hectares of its own vineyards and on the 450 hectares of partner winegrowers.
Its remit ranges from the fight against soil impoverishment with the use of cutting-edge experimental techniques, or attempts to combat climate change with new enological approaches and the use of more appropriate indigenous varieties such as Erbamat, to the reduction of resource consumption.
A producer of iconic and critically acclaimed Franciacorta wines, the company has distinguished itself for the quality and care behind and inside every single bottle, giving rise to the Franciacorta Berlucchi '61 - fresh and versatile; '61 Nature - zero dosage and five years on the lees; and Palazzo Lana, which boasts a full ten years of ageing with the bottles stored horizontally (sur lattes).
Berlucchi wines are truly of the highest quality, well-calibrated in every smallest nuance, designed to satisfy the tastes of all and to gratify every palate.
Just this year the winery has obtained the "seal" of Wine Spectator, which awarded its top wine - the Palazzo Lana Extreme 2009 - the highest score (93) ever achieved by a Franciacorta, and an optimum set of evaluations for the Linea '61( all 90 plus).
It’s unusual to come across a winery that it one of the very first to incorporate an entire wine type, in this case, Franciacorta sparkling wines, but the Berlucchi Wine Estate is just one of these special breeds. The Berlucchi winery came into being thanks in the 1950s to a dream of producing sparkling wines in the birthplace of enologist Franco Ziliani, and his prolific collaboration and partnership with Guido Berlucchi, a real-deal icon in the Northern Italian wine world. Let’s take a closer look with Francesca Ciancio at the history of this truly ground-breaking wine partnership, and how Berlucchi has remodeled the world of Metodo Classico production in Italy.19 Mar, 2021