Franciacorta method

The regulations for Franciacorta DOCG lay down strict rules, which are subject to the supervision of the Consortium for the Protection of Franciacorta. The harvesting of the grapes must take place only by hand in 25 Kg trays, taking special care to safeguard the integrity of the grapes in order to avoid anomalous fermentation processes starting in the field; the pressing of the grapes must be completed within 12 hours of the harvest.
The maximum production is 10,000 Kg per hectare, the maximum yield in hectolitres must be no greater than 65% (6,500 litres per hectare). The grapes are pressed whole in order to allow the separation of the juice into two parts, vinified separately.
The temperature of fermentation must not exceed 20° C. Having obtained the Franciacorta base wine, the cuvée is made, blending different wines and/or musts, even originating from several vintages; then the operation of tirage is undertaken, in which the base wine is bottled adding yeast and sucrose (liqueur de tirage), required for refermentation in the bottle (acquiring froth).
The minimum times for the ageing on the lees start from the date of tirage, or bottling: 18 months for Franciacorta Brut, 24 for Franciacorta Satèn and Franciacorta Rosè, 30 for the vintage Franciacorta (obtained from grapes all from the same year, regarded as exceptional) and 60 months for the Franciacorta Riserva.
Once the time required for ageing on the lees has passed, through the remuage operation, the residue is collected towards the neck of the bottle, which will be eliminated with the disgorging, then a little sugary syrup (liqueur d’expédition) is added to fill the bottle. After the disgorging, the Franciacorta needs at least 2 months ageing in the bottle to allow the liqueur d’expédition to blend perfectly with the wine. Following this period, the bottles are ready to be labelled, packaged and ….. drunk.

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