Allegrini 2018

Franciacorta puts “Unità Vocazionali” in the glass to narrate its microclimates and soils

Tasting the still wine "bases", endorsed by the Consortium, to narrate the territory. The president, Brescianini, said, "the journey is just beginning "

2020 was the year that the world stopped. It was also the year the Consortium for the Protection of Franciacorta had planned celebrations for their thirty-year anniversary. Today, instead, following a record year in sales; totaling more than 20 million bottles (10.3% sold abroad), of one of the most prestigious areas of Italian sparkling wine, the Consortium is finally resuming the story of Franciacorta, starting from the ground or rather from the soil. Most of the activities and events had been postponed or canceled (except for the presentation of the Michelin Guide 2021, of which Franciacorta is a territory partner, ed.). This is the essence of what Silvano Brescianini, president of the Consortium, defined, "the number zero tasting that will help us understand the expressive differences of the various microzones in our territory, to better understand its quality potential, which translates into the quality of the our wines”. The tasting of still wine bases that the Consortium organized in Erbusco, is unprecedented. The aim is to make a profile of the territory by dividing it into "Unità Vocazionali"; that is, areas similar in geological conformation. Flavio Serina, head of the technical section, introduced and presented the tasting, led by sommelier Nicola Bonera. He illustrated the main projects the denomination has committed to. First and foremost, sustainability, the real core of actions of the Consortium's more than 200 member supply chain.
There are 19 municipalities of Morainic origin included in a 200-kilometer area in the province of Brescia, which created an amphitheater around Lake Iseo. In this area 80% Chardonnay, 16% Pinot Nero, 3% Pinot Bianco and 1% Erbamat (a forgotten vine, reintroduced into the regulations in 2017 because of its late ripening and high acidity) are cultivated and 6 " Unità Vocazionali " have been identified. These should bring out the similarities between combinations of microclimates and soil composition, which could lead to organoleptic unity in the wine profile. Twenty still wines were tasted and divided into groups of varietals, organized according to their origins from soils classified as " Fluvioglacial ", "Fine deposits", "Deep Morainic", "Thin Morainic", "Distal Colluviums" and "Terraced Colluviums".
Various sensory profiles were found in the glasses, according to the origin areas. Furthermore, although choosing between steel and wood in wine making, and with or without malolactic fermentation, gives a different imprint to wines, there is evidence regarding expression and aromas. It is definitely a technically complex tasting, which provides, however, a very interesting point of view on the studies the Franciacorta Consortium is carrying out in the area, on a path that, as Brescianini said, is only just beginning.

Focus - Profile: Franciacorta’s numbers
Franciacorta has begun 2022 in the best possible way. The year 2021 ended in growth, and showed record sales of more than 20 million bottles, according to data from the Consortium. Even though the first few months have been laden with uncertainty, as we are still experiencing severe restriction conditions and the HoReCa (hotels, restaurants, catering) channel is still suffering, starting in March 2021 an extremely positive four-month period has begun. Compared to the same period in 2020, when there was an enormous decline, due to activities that were closed down and the spread of the Pandemic, 2021 however registered extraordinary growth rates, peaking between April and May as much as +200%. Sales in the second half of the year, although not at such a stellar increase, were also much higher than the previous year. Therefore, by the close of 2021 volumes had grown, overall, totaling +28.3%. Obviously, the growth rates registered, compared to the year 2020 alone, provide only a partial view of the market trend, considering the particular conditions over the past year. Nevertheless, even the analysis of the variations compared to 2019, in which there were no external factors influencing sales, registered substantial growth, at a positive rate of 15.5%.
Exports were stable at 10.3%, and as far as the level of individual nations are concerned, Switzerland has confirmed its number one position, representing 22.2% of total exports (+ 22.1% compared to 2020 and + 28.5% compared to 2019). The United States followed, representing 12.4% of total exports (+ 71.7% compared to 2020 and + 8.4% compared to 2019), Japan (11.9% of total exports), Germany (8.3 % of total exports) and Belgium (5.4% of total exports). “Following 2020, when we saw a significant decrease in outside the home consumption, we tried to contain its impact, so that in 2021 we were able to achieve very positive results.
Starting in spring, the results were positive even though restrictions were still very tight on several markets and the news was not always very reassuring”, commented Silvano Brescianini, president of the Franciacorta Consortium. “The ability to contain negative effects, and also fully exploit positive periods reassures us about the quality and strength of our denomination, also in the future”.

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