Franciacorta is one of Italy's best sparkling wine secrets. Here, our experts have picked wines to seek out, including one available at Lidl for only £8.99.

Like Crémants in France, Franciacorta exists slightly below the radar in the sparkling wine world. But, it is gaining plaudits among critics and is often described as Italy’s answer to Champagne.

So, if you’re looking to branch out from Prosecco or Champagne, our tasters have this found some bottles that could satisfy your adventurous streak.



Franciacorta DOCG styles at a glance

Franciacorta got DOCG status covering just over 2,000 hectares of vines in Italy in 1995.

Grape varieties that can be used to make the Italian sparkling wine are the classic ‘Champagne varieties’ of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, plus also Pinot Blanc.

Franciacorta is also produced using the ‘traditional method’ – that same as in Champagne – with a second fermentation taking place in the bottle. Most Prosecco is made using the ‘tank method’, where secondary fermentation takes place in stainless steel tanks.

Franciacorta NV

Non-vintage and must be released at least 25 months after harvest, with a minimum 18 months on the lees.

Franciacorta Satèn

A blanc de blancs version that must have a minimum 50% Chardonnay and can have up to 50% Pinot Blanc. It must be aged at least 24 months on lees.

Franciacorta Rosé

Must again be aged 24 months on lees and must have at least 25% Pinot Noir in the base wine.

Millesimato

A vintage Franciacorta that must be aged at least 30 months on lees and cannot be released until at least 37 months after harvest.

Riserva

The pinnacle of the Franciacorta pyramid. Requires at least 60 months ageing on lees.

Wines to try