Any winery tour should start from Ca’ del Bosco which, with its owner Maurizio Zanella, has contributed so much to the success of this denomination.
In the same town, Erbusco, another not-to-be-missed stop is Bellavista, where Vittorio Moretti, a leading player and current president of the Franciacorta consorzio, is a reference for the area. This first-class winery is named after the location of its vineyards on top of the Bellavista hill with its splendid view. Bellavista makes the most of its scenery, the visual impact and blend of art, sculpture and ‘bon ton’ (the waterfall and swing are enchanting).
Just 10 minutes away is Il Mosnel, belonging to the Barzanò Barboglio family, now in its fifth generation. The winery, with its 16th-century cellars, is the starting point for two excursions of 4km and 7km respectively around the estate’s 40 hectares, and also offers themed dinners.
Another 2km on, and we come to the Monterossa vineyards, now under the guidance of Emanuele Rabotti, located on the top of a hill overlooking the entire morainic amphitheatre and whose grounds include a spectacular rose garden.
Travelling another 15km towards Monticelli Brusati (the nature walk to the Gaina waterfall is wonderful), we find La Montina, run by the Bozza brothers, where you can combine wine tasting with culture – make time to look at the contemporary art in its gallery.
A 10-minute drive away is yet another company that has helped shape the history of Franciacorta, Ricci Curbastro. Here you will find an agricultural museum outlining the stages of the farming calendar, an agriturismo and an antiques shop.
Franciacorta was first re-fermented in the bottle in 1961 at the Guido Berlucchi winery in Borgonato. The Ziliani family has dedicated a special label to that first vintage, while another label is named after stately home Palazzo Lana.
Barone Pizzini in Provaglio d’Iseo also holds a record: that of being the first winery to produce DOCG Franciacorta from organic grapes. The winery offers two tasting opportunities via the Animante tour or the Edizione tour with vintage-focused tasting.
This was first published as part of a travel guide in the November 2016 issue of Decanter.
Alessandra Piubello is a writer and journalist with a focus on wine and food. She grew up in a winemaking family in the Valpolicella region