Allegrini 2024

One last toast to the “Father” of Franciacorta: Franco Ziliani has passed away

The creator of the Lombard sparkling wine and founder of Guido Berlucchi has passed away at the age of 90

Italian wine has lost one of its greatest pioneers, the “Founding Father” of Franciacorta, one of the most important sparkling wine areas in Italy. Franco Ziliani has passed away in these days when people the world over are toasting, thanks also to the Lombard bubbles, created by his inventiveness and genius. He was a pioneer and the creator of Franciacorta, founder of Guido Berlucchi, and considered one of the “Fathers” of modern Italian enology. This year is the sixtieth anniversary of the first bottle of Franciacorta he created. Unfortunately, “today, suddenly, the ninety-year-old entrepreneur who revolutionized the destiny of an entire wine region by creating the modern wines of Franciacorta and giving a new purpose to the territory of the hills around Lake Iseo”, underlined a note from the company, now led by the brothers Cristina, Paolo and Arturo Ziliani. Franco Ziliani was a determined winemaker and a volcanic entrepreneur. He lived his life achieving the dream of creating quality Italian sparkling wines, considered to be at the level of the great French tradition. So it happened that in 1955, Count Guido Berlucchi called a young winemaker to Palazzo Lana in Borgonato to solve the problems of stability of the wines produced on the Estate. The winemaker proposed the revolutionary idea of ​​making those wines “sparkling”, as they did not show satisfactory “personality”. After many attempts, finally in 1961 the first 3.300 bottles of “Pinot di Franciacorta” were created, the “seed” of what later on would become one of the most important “new” Italian quality wine territories and the success of Franciacorta DOCG today. Franco Ziliani leaves Franciacorta to his producer friends, to all the employees who supported him in life and to his children Cristina, Arturo and Paolo Ziliani. The funeral will be held on Tuesday, December 28th (11:30 am) in the Parish of Paratico. WineNews sends its most sincere condolences to Franco Ziliani's family and loved ones.

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