Learn how to tell the difference between Prosecco and Franciacorta
You are in Italy, which sparkling wine would you choose to celebrate your well-deserved vacation? Prosecco or Franciacorta?
Sparkling wines are perfect toast companions and amazing for celebrations and for special occasions. Prosecco and Franciacorta represent the Italian winemaking pride but you may have only heard about Prosecco.
Learn more about these amazing wines and how to tell them apart? Read our article and next time you visit Italy you can order the perfect wine like a true expert!
Why Prosecco and Franciacorta are different
Prosecco and Franciacorta are different in many ways, let’s discover the most important:
1. Where in Italy they are produced
Prosecco and Franciacorta are both prides of Northern Italy: Prosecco is produced in the regions of Veneto and Friuli-Venezia Giulia (north-east) while Franciacorta is produced and can only be produced in the province of Brescia (Lombardy region).
Prosecco (DOC and DOCG) is produced with Glera grapes at least for 85%. Glera is a white variety of grape of Slovenian origin. This thin-skinned green grape has been grown in the Veneto and Friuli-Venezia Giulia regions for hundreds of years.
Franciacorta is produced with French grapes Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Blanc. You can also find a new grape called Erbamat, a rare grape native to the Brescia area.
3. Production process
To produce sparkling wines, the base wine undergoes two fermentations: the first fermentation is called alcoholic fermentation and the second one is called “presa di spuma”. The second fermentation is what makes the biggest difference between Prosecco and Franciacorta.
- Prosecco is produced with the Charmat-Martinotti method: after the first fermentation, the base wine goes through a second fermentation that takes place inside steel tanks called autoclaves. The wine can stay up to 70 days inside the steel tanks for the sparkling procedure. The outcome is a young sparkling wine characterized by high freshness and fresh and fruity primary aromas.
- Franciacorta is produced following the Classic method, the same used for Champagne. After the first fermentation, the wine is bottled with sugar and yeast, so the second fermentation takes place inside the bottle. It lays in the bottle for at least 18 months during which the sparkling is defined and developed by the second fermentation of sugar. The yeasts change the sugar into carbon dioxide and alcohol. The final product is an aged wine, characterised by secondary and tertiary aromas such as bread, hazelnuts, vanilla and caramel.
4. How to choose between Prosecco and Franciacorta
Yes, I agree with you, it’s a hard choice because both of them are really delicious. But here’s the good news: you can drink both during a special dinner. Prosecco is a young sparkling wine, characterized by fresh aromas that make it perfect as an aperitif to open your dinner. We suggest pairing your main dishes with Franciacorta that is richer in aromas and body.
You can find our favourite Franciacorta wines in our articles 7 Italian wines you should have in your cellar and you can discover Franciacorta with us, meeting the producer and tasting amazing wines directly from the winery with our Franciacorta tour!