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Ferghettina Franciacorta Milledi Brut 2011
The year was 1991: Gatti left his former employer and struck out on his own – Ferghettina was born, named after the winery location. For the first time, production was bottled under the Ferghettina label, and Roberto released his first Franciacorta Brut in 1992.
Ferghettina grew step by step. After a lifetime in the vineyards, Roberto knew the best fruit ripens gradually. Roberto’s knowledge helped to build his reputation in the region, allowing his to take over new plots on long leases (20-25 years), which he replanted to the strictest standards, eventually running a total of 180 hectares (445 acres) under vine, split into nine Franciacorta districts.
Ferghettina focuses their investments in top-quality equipment and vineyard management. One of these investments included a state-of-the-art, 64,600-square-foot new winery at Adro (again, slightly northwest of Erbusco), designed by Laura’s architect husband. Though built from 2002 to 2005, it is perfectly integrated into the landscape: a traditional farmhouse made of timeless-looking bricks and stones, it embraces a gently sloping hill within sight of Lake Iseo (a.k.a. Lake Sebino).
Containing an exciting mix of wine producing subregions, Lombardy is Italy’s largest in size and population. Good quality Pinot noir, Bonarda and Barbera have elevated the reputation of the plains of Oltrepò Pavese. To its northeast in the Alps, Valtellina is the source of Italy’s best Nebbiolo wines outside of Piedmont. Often missed in the shadow of Prosecco, Franciacorta produces collectively Italy’s best Champagne style wines, and for the fun and less serious bubbly, find Lambrusco Mantovano around the city of Mantua. Lugana, a dry white with a devoted following, is produced to the southwest of Lake Garda.
Equal parts festive and food-friendly, sparkling wine is beloved for its lively bubbles and appealing aesthetics. Though it is often thought of as something to be reserved for celebrations, sparkling wine can be enjoyed on any occasion—and might just make the regular ones feel a bit more special. Sparkling wine is made throughout the world, but can only be called “Champagne” if it comes from the Champagne region of France. Other regions have their own specialties, like Prosecco in Italy and Cava in Spain. Sweet or dry, white or rosé (or even red!), lightly fizzy or fully sparkling, there is a style of bubbly wine to suit every palate.
The bubbles in sparkling wine are formed when the base wine undergoes a secondary fermentation, trapping carbon dioxide inside the bottle or fermentation vessel. Champagne, Cava and many other sparkling wines (particularly in the New World) are made using the “traditional method,” in which the second fermentation takes place inside the bottle. With this method, dead yeast cells remain in contact with the wine during bottle aging, giving it a creamy mouthful and toasty flavors. For Prosecco, the carbonation process occurs in a stainless steel tank to preserve the fresh fruity and floral aromas preferred for this style of wine.