Wine Route Map
Franciacorta is a splendid region of Lombardy, a stone's throw from Brescia
and within easy reach of the rest of Europe. Nature has over thousands of years sculpted this ancient land, creating a breathtakingly varied landscape awash with colour, that yields its most prized treasure, the wine. Yet its history has been moulded by man, who has toiled for centuries to create an impressive cultural heritage. The Associazione Strada del Franciacorta was set up to promote and preserve this heritage.
A wine tour of Franciacorta is not just about the discovery of wine. Each cellar chronicles the history of the families of Franciacorta who with tenacity and determination upheld the tradition of wine production.
Now famous throughout the world, these wines bear the DOCG classification (denominazione di origine controllata e garantita). The Associazione Strada della Strada del Franciacorta promotes tailor-made excursions to the cellars of this wine region in addition to arranging access to wine tasting events.
The name Franzacurta appeared for the first time in the Town Charter of Brescia, 1277, whilst the detailed ordinance survey map dates from 1429 when the area's borders were established in the statute signed by the Doge, Francesco Foscari. The borders of the wine region of Franciacorta still apply today and were published in the original regulations drawn up by the Consorzio per la tutela del Franciacorta on 21 July 1967.
The cultivation of vines on the hillsides of Franciacorta has ancient origins.
Classical poets Pliny, Columella and Virgil wrote about the area and grape seeds dating from prehistoric times have been found. But the most important archeological finds date from ancient roman times, such as the gigantic architrave of a Roman temple built in Erbusco. It now forms part of the facade of the Palazzo del Monte di Pietà in Piazza della Loggia in Brescia.
Important monasteries, some founded before the 11th century, radically influenced the course of history of Franciacorta. These monasteries owned vast amounts of land and were responsible for the drainage of wetlands and cultivation of the land. The convent of Santa Giulia di Brescia, founded by the Longobard King Desiderio and his wife Ansa, was one of the most active. The property owned by it is documented in the "Polittico di Santa Giulia", an ancient tome dating from the second half of the 9th century.
Calino - Bornato
At the time there were a number of other monasteries such as that of Clusane (a priory based on the French model provided by the Benedictine monastery in Cluny in Burgundy), Colombaro (Cell of Saint Mary), Timoline (Convent of Santa Giulia) and Nigoline (Convent of Saint Euphemia), Borgonato (Convent of Saint Julia) and Torbiato (the Monasteries of Verona
and San Faustino of Brescia).
The origins of the name of the region are shrouded in mystery; one highly plausible theory maintains that its name derives from the Franck courts, (in the medieval towns of Adro, Borgonato, Clusane, Colombaro, Cremignane, Nigoline, Timoline and Torbiato) that under the protection of Benedictine orders were exempt from tax (franchae curtes).
Erbusco Hotels & Accommodations review
L'Albereta Relais et Chateaux
One of northern Italy's little-known gems, the Franciacorta area's lush, undulating landscape, studded with castles and abbeys, is the ideal backdrop … read entire review