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Italian sparkling wine is so much more than just Prosecco, nice as it is. Berlucchi Franciacorta is one of the most delicious and, although not produced in the Champagne region of France, offers a Champagne style sparkling wine that comes darned close to the real thing.

Cristina Ziliani is the woman behind Berlucchi and her father, winemaker Franco Ziliani, joined forces with Guido Berlucchi and persuaded him to produce sparkling wine in the champagne style. In effect, Italian Champagne.

In 1961 Berlucchi pioneered the production of sparkling wine made in the traditional champagne method in the northern Italian region of Franciacorta in Lombardy. When Berlucchi released their sparkling wine in 1961, it marked the very first time that the geographical area Franciacorta appeared on a wine label. Sparkling wines from Franciacorta achieved DOC status in 1967 and DOCG (the highest classification for Italian wines) in 1995.

Berlucchi is Italy’s 1st Metodo Champenoise producer, following the classic method wine making tradition; which means bottles are hand crafted, bottle fermented and riddled, illustrating care in every step. Resulting in a superior, sparkling wine. Berlucchi’ s two flagship Franciacorta wines are fashioned from the classic sparkling wine grapes Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Berlucchi; the creator of Franciacorta, is renowned as having the finest appellation for sparkling wines in Italy.

In addition to the method, Berlucchi Franciacorta is produced with the same grapes as champagne – Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Unlike Prosecco which is produced from Glera grapes and tends to be on the sweeter side, Berlucchi Franciacorta ’61 Brut offers more complexity. With fine bubbles and a lovely flavour, Berlucchi Franciacorta ’61 Brut is elegant and fun. If you love champagne, you’ll find Berlucchi Franciacorta very similar. It is worth mentioning that Berlucchi also produces an excellent sparkling Rosé.

Very food-friendly, Berlucchi Franciacorta ’61 Brut pairs exceptionally well with seafood, light pasta dishes, mild cheeses, and desserts. It is the perfect summer bubbly drink and if you are looking for an alternative to Prosecco, that is a little more like champers, you simply must try Berlucchi!

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