What kind of image does Franciacorta hold in the mind of the Italian?
Since 1967 the Franciacorta wine region has strived to position itself both as a brand synonymous with top quality sparkling wines and as a specific and unique “terroir” in which to produce them. A recent survey has proved that nowadays Italians recognize Franciacorta wines and the Franciacorta method as the finest Italian sparkling wines representing the uniqueness of its terroir. Always according to this survey, we have to work on the Franciacorta region as a destination; the wine is actually very well known among Italians while the destination, with its marvelous lake and enchanting hills, is not so popular. I think thoughthat living in a secluded area may be an advantage to protect nature and the environment from mass tourism.
Your company, Bellavista seems invested in the arts and shows that the arts have a place with wine, as wine making is an art in itself. How do you see the partnership between art and wine working together?
My family have always thought that music and arts are a constant source of inspiration. They are also perfect tools to communicate the intangible side of the world of wines which is a mix of craftsmanship, fine techniques and human touch. Arts, and in particular sculptures, are a way of adding beauty to nature. Music, as it is wine, is nevertheless an international language which builds up friendship among people. Also it is the best way to accompany wines. Actually we speak about “tasting notes” and “musical notes”: in fact the affinity is at its utmost. From Luciano Pavarotti, who was close friend to my family, to Teatro alla Scala which, since 2004, has been appointing Bellavista as its official sparkling wine, the tie between music and wine has always been inspiring and has always been part of our story.
Sparkling wine in Italy is dominated by Prosecco.How do you educate people in other countries about the quality and the history of Franciacorta as compared to or instead of Prosecco?
First of all we educate people with a name, the Franciacorta wine region, which is synonymous with a method of winemaking and also with a specific region (19 districts). We also communicate the added value of a Franciacorta sparkling wine throughout events which have excellence in each and one of their components. Whether it is a show-cooking or a tasting festival, we choose the best to accompany the Franciacorta experience.
In the beginning, producing wines as a hobby near your hotel, what kinds of wines were you making? How did they turn out? What lead you to want to make sparkling wines?
Bellavista was founded before L’Albereta and the hotel was meant to support the standing of the wines which, since the very beginning, was definitely that of fine sparkling wines. The success of Franciacorta is deeply rooted in the consistency of the project. Top quality has always been the standpoint.
What are some of the older bottles of Bellavista you enjoy, what are some vintages that still stand out in your mind as being exceptional for aging and complexity?
The vintage Bellavista Vittorio Moretti, a homage to the personality of my father by our oenologist, is my favourite one and the 2004 harvest is so unique that we have made a special selection dedicated to the “opera primas” of Teatro alla Scala. The same vintage, 2004, can be today tasted in three different disgorgements 2012, 2013 and 2014 and it is surprising how the same wine can develop an incredible bouquet through time. Time, as it is for music, makes the difference in Bellavista wines and also in the Franciacorta method.
What is your favourite dish from your region to pair with the Brut and the Satèn? And the Rosé?
Franciacorta Brut: Casoncelli alla Bresciana [stuffed fresh pasta]
Franciacorta Satén: Fried Perch from Iseo Lake
Franciacorta Rosé: Manzo all’Olio [Stewed Beef]
Check out a recipe forfrom Executive Chef Fabio Abbattista at RestaurantLeonfelice at L’Albereta.