the wine
Franciacorta

the land
Franciacorta

Historical harvests

1974
A normal production year, with healthy grapes and well distributed rainfall, temperatures above twenty degrees in the first and second 10-day periods of September and an average of 15 degrees in the third. It produced a Franciacorta that was rich in aromas of ripe fruit, full-flavoured and with good structure. Excellent.

1975
A good production year and late harvest. The resulting Franciacorta was ethereal and not very persistent. Fair

1976
An abundant production year characterised by excessive rainfall and temperatures below average, at 16-18 degrees. The resulting Franciacorta was a bit short and not very fine. Inadequate

1977
A normal production year, resulting in wines with high acidity. The abundant rainfall and temperatures, from 22 degrees in the first 10 days to 13 degrees in the third ten-day period, allowed the production of a fragrant Franciacorta with average aromatic taste. Average.

1978
A normal production year, with healthy grapes and good acidity. The rain was rather scarce, especially in the second and third part of September, and the temperatures were optimal. The resulting Franciacorta was delicate, fine and aromatic. Good.

1979
A normal production year with an early harvest. The climatic conditions were dry and fresh for the entire month of September. This year’s Franciacorta wines were formed under an auspicious star, and were characterised by particular harmony, high structure and aromatic persistence. Excellent. Vintage.

1980
A normal production year with healthy grapes. In September, there was low rainfall and average temperatures from 18 to 20 degrees. This Franciacorta had particular balance and harmony in the structure, with a strong aroma. Good.

1981
A normal production year with healthy grapes. There were well-distributed rains and constant temperatures, in the order of 18 to 20 degrees, for the entire month of September. The Franciacorta was particularly fruity, fresh and with a good balance between acidity and structure. Excellent.

1982
Good production year, with perfectly healthy grapes, characterised by a September with little rain and a temperature of around 20 degrees and low humidity. The Franciacorta was very fine and elegant. Excellent.

1983
A year of abundant production with very healthy grapes. In the first and second 10-day period rainfall was sparse and well distributed, while in the third 10-day period there were long sunny days. The resulting Franciacorta had strong floral aromas and good flavour. Good.

1984
A normal production year producing wines with high acidity. Normal rainfall and temperatures between 15 and 16 degrees in September gave the Franciacorta freshness, elegance and richness of structure. Exceptional. Historic vintage.

1985
A normal production year with healthy grapes. Temperatures fell in the normal range and there was only a little rain in the second week of September. The Franciacorta was harmonious and well structured with particular notes of ripe fruit. Excellent. Vintage.

1986
A year of abundant production with quite healthy grapes. The first and second 10-day period of September had ideal temperatures and little rain, with sun in the third. It produced a Franciacorta without great characteristics. Average.

1987
A poor production year. Little rain and temperatures of 20 to 23 degrees, higher than the seasonal average in September. The Franciacorta had delicate notes of freshness and flavour. Good.

1988
A year of low production (average 7.615 kg/ha) with healthy grapes and good gradation. The progression of the climate was almost ideal, with sunshine and temperatures around 18 degrees for the entire month of September, allowing perfect and slow maturation of the clusters. It produced a Franciacorta with strong personality, character and with a very harmonious and fine composition of floral and fruity elements. Exceptional. Historic vintage.

1989
A good production year with healthy grapes and high acidity. The well-distributed rains were slightly more abundant in the third part of September. It produced a Franciacorta with a good taste. Average.

1990
A normal production year, with healthy grapes with high natural gradation. The optimal development of the climate, which was regular through the entire month of September, made it possible to enhance the aromatic complexity of the ripe fruit to make a particularly aromatic and elegant Franciacorta. Exceptional. Historic vintage.

1991
A good production year, with ripe and healthy grapes. The climatic development saw medium-high temperatures of the order of 22 degrees, especially in the first two 10-day periods of September. It produced a Franciacorta with character and freshness that was very fruity with floral aromas, good balance and persistence. Excellent. Vintage.

1992
A good production year, with a summer characterised by persistent rain. The resulting Franciacorta had good floral scents. Average.
Evaluation of harvest: 3

1993
A normal production year with early ripening grapes. It was a dry summer. The harvest took place before the heavy rains started in the second half of September.
The year’s Franciacorta had good structure and was very pleasant, balanced, very fragrant and fruity, as well as full-flavoured. Excellent. Vintage.
Evaluation of harvest: 4

1994
A year characterised by below average productions compared to recent years, with a hot and dry summer and slightly delayed harvest. The chemical-physical characteristics of the base wines were high. The result was Franciacorta with acidity, completeness and harmony of flavour and fine fragrances. Excellent.
Evaluation of harvest: 4

1995
A year characterised by low yields (average 7.150 kg/hectare), a prolonged summer, early harvest, and good and particularly suitable chemical-physical characteristics. It produced a Franciacorta with freshness and aromatic completeness, particularly in terms of the structure and intensity of its persistent aromas. Exceptional. First vintage DOCG.
Evaluation of harvest: 5

1996
A year characterised by a summer that was not too hot, limited weather disasters, grapes that ripened slightly early, good basic acidity, and yields per hectare in the normal range that were lower than those set out in the specification. The Franciacorta was pleasant and harmonious, with a delicate, structured taste. Tending towards the excellent. Vintage.
Evaluation of harvest: 3 ½

1997
A year without calamitous weather events or pest attacks. Spring was dry and hot with early vegetation, and the summer was not too hot and breezy. The harvest was regular and dry, with high basic acidity and grapes with good strength. The yield per hectare was in line with average for the last 2-3 years. The resulting Franciacorta was very fine, with delicate and intense aromas. Excellent. Vintage.
Evaluation of harvest: 5

1998
A year characterised by a vegetative delay in the early stages of development, and a particularly rainy summer development. Until flowering, there were particularly violent hailstorms but only in some particularly exposed areas. The harvest was characterised by low yields (average 7.810 kg/ha) and with quantities varying from area to area and between individual vineyards. The quality generally good with medium acidity characterised by high levels of tartaric acid and good sugar content.
Evaluation of harvest: 4

1999
A qualitatively and quantitatively satisfactory year. The weather was normal, with only two hailstorms in August, which did not compromise the quality or the health of the grapes. The Franciacorta bases had fine aromas, excellent pH values and especially acidity, with good aromatic complexity and good alcohol content.
Evaluation of harvest: 4

2000
A year characterised by a period of low temperatures and low humidity before ripening; from ripening to harvest (beginning 18/08) the weather was very hot, dry and windy. The sugar/acidity ratio in the grapes was excellent. The yields in the vineyard’s must samples totalled about 5,850 litres/hectare. The Franciacorta bases had excellent alcoholic strength with limited residual sugar, a good pH value and especially acidity; the base wines had a good structure and were full bodied, with varied, intense and very delicate aromas and flavours.
Evaluation of harvest: 3

2001
A year characterised by fairly low average temperatures up to formation of the cluster, with consistent and well distributed rainfall that produced clusters that were not too tight. After formation of the fruit, the season underwent a change of climate whereby temperatures became quite high and precipitation became very scarce from the start of ripening, allowing the grapes optimal ripening both in terms of health and analysis, providing Franciacorta bases with excellent sugar/acidity ratios. The base wines were very clean, and rich in intense and very fine varietal aromas. The bases from Franciacorta 2001 produced a great vintage.
Evaluation of harvest: 4

2002
The particularly harsh and dry winter induced deformed and rather stunted budding in the vines that then recovered thanks to the spring weather conditions that favoured the recovery of vegetation and production of the crop. The flowering period, characterised by cold and rainy days, produced a reduced fruit set with lower average weight of the cluster. After a particularly hot and dry month of June, the summer was characterised by low average temperatures and high rainfall accompanied by some hail events. All this has resulted in a harvest that quantitatively ranks below the average in recent years, characterised however by analytical parameters of the grapes, whose particularly interesting sugar/acidity means we can expect long periods of keeping Franciacorta on the lees and then the use of this year’s production for the vintages.
Evaluation of harvest: 3 ½

2003
Year characterised by very limited rain for the first nine months of the year. After the low temperatures in early spring that caused, in some areas, light damage to the budding, the temperatures were maintained at levels higher than normal especially in summer, leading to a very early harvest. These particular climatic conditions allowed the production of grapes of excellent health status with a higher than average sugar content. The yield, both in the field and in the cellar, was quantitatively less than in previous years because of the limited availability of water and the resulting higher concentration of the juice of the berries.
Franciacorta characterised by a good alcohol content, with significant body and aromatic complexity.
Evaluation of harvest: 3

2004
A year characterised by excessively high temperatures during the day and quite low temperatures at night, with good thermal excursions that enabled the synthesis and preservation of flavours in the grapes. The growing season passed without major surprises or problems and mark a return to a regular harvest, including from a quantitative point of view, after two years of poor harvests. The weather pattern made it possible to enhance the personalities of the various Franciacorta micro-wine-growing areas, making it possible to predict the production of Franciacorta bases that are markedly different depending on the area of origin, with great finesse and sustained acidity. It laid excellent foundations for the creation of a cuveé of great freshness, aromatic complexity that is potentially very long-lasting with a great personality.
Evaluation of harvest: 4

2005
A year with a fluctuating course, at least until flowering. After that the weather pattern settled down with dry, sunny weather, and good temperatures between day and night, until the end of August. There was therefore good accumulation of sugar combined with limited decreases in the acid content and particularly low pH values. The flavour profile of the bases proved to be very promising for elegance and ageing potential. A year for a great vintage.
Evaluation of harvest: 5

2006
Regular spring development was followed by a very dry early summer, with similar trends to 2003. From early August some rainfall events restored the water balance and maturation began in the best conditions. Since mid-August the barometer showed “fine/stable” with night excursions of 10 degrees that helped to maintain freshness and aroma.
The 2006 Franciacorta bases have fine aromas, excellent pH values and especially acidity, good aromatic complexity and good alcohol content.
Evaluation of harvest: 4 ½

2007
A very mild winter definitely contributed markedly to an early awakening of nature and so the budding of the vines started in the last days of March, about 20 days earlier than average. The summer period progressed regularly with temperatures slightly lower than expected, which allowed regular maturation of the grapes while maintaining a small advance over previous years. The long period of maturation also allowed excellent development of the fruit in terms of both acidity and the aromatic components. The high thermal gradient of the days before the harvest also brought out some very fresh notes. The must presented good analytical data for sugar, acidity and pH with intense, fine, elegant aromas, and distinct floral and fruity notes.
Evaluation of harvest: 4

2008
The cold spring with little sun resulted in a bud break that delayed by about 15 days in comparison to the previous year.
Overall the weather conditions supported growth well, with different and ideal levels for hydration, the development of vegetative growth, the composition of the cluster and then its concentration. Potential products of excellent quality were obtained in different areas of Franciacorta.
Evaluation of harvest: 4

2009
The year went normally, with a slightly advanced budding compared to 2008.
In fact, the season was generally warm, interspersed with some providential rainy days that led to regular growth of the clusters, without water stress or pathogen attacks. The berries were mature, healthy, turgid and tough-skinned with crunchy flesh: all ideal characteristics for high-quality Franciacorta.
The analytical data of the must showed a very positive picture for the quality of this year: sugar level in the medium-low (currently an average of 10.80 in potential alcohol), good total acidity (9-10 g/l), and excellent pH (3.05 to 3.10). These are optimal characteristics for Franciacorta in all its forms, from an 18 month Brut to the great reserves.
Evaluation of harvest: 4

2010
At the beginning of the growing season the vines showed very regular, quick and smooth development. Later, however, the rather cold and rainy weather patterns of May led to a slowdown in vegetative growth.
A very rainy July put a strain on the pest control resources, and further increased the delay compared to previous years, particularly the 2009 and 2002 harvests.
The harvest took place in ideal conditions and it was possible to manage harvesting the grapes satisfactorily. They had a strong acidic base, just right for the production of Franciacorta bases. Products of good quality were obtained, especially on poor soil and on the reliefs.
Evaluation of harvest: 3 ½

2011
Spring was warmer than the historical average for the period, while the summer was cool and rainy, and guaranteed an ideal alternation between warm temperatures during the day and cool temperatures at night. The ripening of the grapes and the beginning of the maturation began early but their course then proceeded gradually. A slow maturation, accompanied by mild temperatures and good daily temperature, favourable to the synthesis and accumulation of precursors to aromatic compounds, proved an excellent support for obtaining sparkling bases of excellent quality. The regular but never excessive rainfall made it possible to simultaneously obtain a significant weight of production and impeccable health. The acid composition and concentration of the product also showed ideal conditions and have given the vintage prerogatives of special merit, with a great balance of flavours and an intense aroma. For the first time in Italy, Reserve status was granted to the harvest in Franciacorta. It was a quantitatively and qualitatively excellent season that allowed Riserva wine to be set aside.
Evaluation of harvest: 5

2012
A year characterised by abrupt climate changes that made vineyard management and the planning of interventions and harvesting more challenging overall. The progression of the budding was rather protracted, hence the differences in the Franciacorta microclimates were increased compared to other years: south of Monte Orfano the first buds had already opened in the last week of March, while in areas to the northeast were much later on average, with the budding lasting until mid-April.
From an analysis of weather data we can see that the average temperatures, from the last 10-day period of April until the end of July, were below the 10-year average from 2002 to 2011. This led to a slowdown in vegetative growth, lengthening the period between budding and flowering. In the same period the rain was abundant, often above the average of the previous 10-day period.
The sub-optimal weather conditions affected flowering and, in most parts but not everywhere, this led to a reduced fruit set, resulting in a lower than average productive potential.
In late July, there was a sharp turnaround, with a sharp rise in temperatures, this time above the 10-year average, which led to a strong recovery of the previously accumulated delay. In fact, the harvest began around mid-August, with the first few clusters collected between 10 and 12 August.
The first production estimates were made at the start of the harvest, amounting to an average of around 80-90 quintals per hectare. The 2012 harvest will surely be remembered for many years as a vintage that was “exceptional” for its low productivity, while fortunately it was satisfactory in terms of quality.
The analytical findings confirmed the quality of the grapes and musts with an optimal balance of sugar/acidity and sufficiently low pH, as it should be for the production of Franciacorta.
Evaluation of harvest: 4

2013
2013 was a difficult year in terms of weather and pest control. Budding occurred a little late, around mid-April. During the period of the first shoots, 2013 was the coldest and most rainy year in the last decade. This resulted in an extension of dormancy, even in areas or varieties that tend to bud earlier, leading to almost simultaneous budding throughout Franciacorta with the first warmth. On 24 and 25 May there was an abnormal and sudden drop in the temperature, which fell to as low as 5° C at night, and during the day it did not exceed 13° C.
In some areas, the heat changes associated with some rainfall events that occurred during flowering caused a stunted fruit set, resulting in a reduction of production potential that in turn translated into an increase in quality.
Another difficulty was the particularly significant attack by the vine moth, which was fortunately limited to a few locations but meant that the grapes for pressing had to been carefully sorted.
Among all the difficulties, 2013 will be remembered as the year of the September grape harvest, something that has not happened for many years. Harvesting activities tentatively began around 25 August and continued until mid-September.
The very slow ripening, which continued throughout a period of the year when high daytime temperatures were only a memory and the fluctuations in temperature were more pronounced, can only be a prelude to bases of exceptional quality, both in analytic and aromatic terms. The high acidity and low pH helped to give particular minerality to the bases from the 2013 harvest.
Evaluation of harvest: 4

2014
Following a mild winter, with a March significantly outside the normal range (average maximum temperatures of 20°C compared to 2013 with an average maximum temperature of 10°C), the vegetative growth occurred much earlier compared with the previous year: the first opened buds appeared towards the end of March. The stage of germination occurred regularly and the average high temperatures favoured a rapid development. Blossoming occurred around 8-10 of May with large and numerous inflorescences, preluding a good production.
The phenological anticipation found during the spring season has been discontinued as of June due to the frequent rainfalls and drops in temperature, even abrupt, conditions that lasted all summer.
The veraison (colour change) began around the middle of July; the frequent rainfalls slowed the ripening process, partly compromising the plant health, then back to normal thanks to the rigorous selection of grapes.
The slow and regular ripening has on the other hand allowed a progressive harvesting and allowed to carry out programmes of harvesting in line with the needs of technological ripening of the grapes used by Franciacorta.
The grape yields, at the beginning generous, were reported well below the limit set by the regulations as a result of severe sorting in the vineyard.
The particular weather conditions of the year affected the characteristics of the basic wines that show relatively high acidity favouring greater freshness and fineness. The ripening slowed by daytime temperatures never too hot, and pronounced temperature changes have helped to bring grapes into the wine cellar, with high malic acidity and spiced endowment more than intact.
These are all prerequisites for a year of great finesse and elegance.
Evaluation of harvest: 3 ½

2015
The 2015 vegetative cycle began smoothly with budding during the first ten days of April. The period from April to August 2015 had relatively little rainfall with respect to recent vintages. On average, temperatures were high and there was practically no rainfall in July. As a result, vine development was slowed and ripening was brought into line with a more regular progression.
Harvest began the first week of August and continued for roughly 20 days. Ongoing high temperatures prompted growers to speed up their efforts and as a result the harvest period was relatively brief. Grapes used in sparkling wine production must be harvested quickly in order to maintain the necessary acidity levels and ensure the wine's freshness and aging potential.
In terms of quantity, with respect to initial forecasts, the actual official yields were 5-10 per cent lower than expected. The fact that there was virtually no rainfall during the vegetative cycle resulted in decreased weight of the fruit.
In terms of quality, the 2015 harvest will most likely be remembered for wines with greater structure and complexity than in other vintages. It's still too early to draw conclusions because wines from any given vintage in Franciacorta are tasted for the first time two years after bottling.
In positive news for growers, with respect to the same period in the previous year, sales of Franciacorta in the first six months of 2015 grew by 10.6 per cent in Italy and abroad. By the end of June, 5,855,781 bottles had been sold. Of those, 12.4 per cent were exported, with growth of 8.4 per cent. Japan continues to be the number-one foreign market for Franciacorta.