the wine
Franciacorta

the land
Franciacorta

Zoning

Around 1910, the Anti-Phylloxera Consortium of Brescia made the first geological and viticultural study of the Franciacorta vineyard, defining this area as the “Sebino Morenic Amphitheatre” (photo of old zoning map).
Very interesting information emerged from this work regarding the composition of the land planted with vines, and the identification of the sub-zones. These data reveal their importance when compared with the results of the zoning study of Franciacorta wine that started in 1992.
Investigations of this type are of central importance within the objective of qualitative excellence, as they aim to find the best possible combination of the factors determining the sensory characteristics of the wine. A viticultural ecosystem is in fact “identified by its vine or vines and rootstocks, the climate, the soil and the human technical choices, correlated and integrated with biological, ecological and human factors that are the basis recognising the denomination of origin of wines. We can easily understand then that there are numerous small differences within one territory, differentiating the sub-areas, and leading to different results in terms of the final product. As such, the choice of the best possible matrix combines the above-mentioned variables, based on maps made from information collected within zoning studies, and this choice will be increasing informed by knowledge, media and scientific instruments rather than through simple, concrete but inevitably limited direct experience.
Viticultural zoning is thus used to improve knowledge of the production factors in the field that determine and influence the quality of the product, and also to optimise and increase the efficiency of the work and choices of cultivation techniques. It has also highlighted and underlined the importance of the terroir to the product obtained because of its identification, recognition and the intrinsic link between name, production method, product type and quality. It has also stimulated collective enhancement of commercial and viticultural operations among different manufacturers, where different environmental situations make it possible to enrich, preserve and protect the product. Finally, zoning has been useful for testing the significance and adaptability individual vines in one specific landscape unit, comparing the sensory and organoleptic responses to the final products obtained in different subareas.

The zoning study has redrawn the map of the landscape units. These areas are homogeneous in terms of both for their soil characteristics and their landscape (morphology, slope, exposure and mesoclimate characteristics), and the functional map describes six different uses for them.
The functional units are areas of land that are homogeneous in terms of the type of soil characteristics, vegetative and productive aspects, qualitative aspects (kinetics of maturation of the grapes, analytical parameters of grape must) and sensory profile of the resulting base wines.
This zoning thus becomes a powerful tool in the hands of winemakers, agronomists and oenologists when making the the many technical choices from the planting of the vineyard until the formation of the cuvées, which are skilfully created starting from base wines that have different characteristics depending on their origin.

Soil characteristics
Deep, few stones, loam or loam-clay texture, sub-alkaline reaction, poor drainage.

Vegetative and productive aspects
Greater vegetative potential, higher productivity for a greater number and weight of clusters.

Qualitative aspects of must
Less early ripening, on technological examination of the harvest the grapes have low pH values and sugar levels and high titratable acidity.

Sensory profile of the wine
Very high values for the floral variables and olfactory persistence in this case. The spicy-vegetable and dry fruity values are modest, however, with low complexity.
Soil characteristics
Moderately deep or deep, limited by a gravelly-sandy soil, topsoil, locally sandy or clayey, neutral reaction, good drainage.

Vegetative and productive aspects
Greater vegetative potential, higher productivity for a greater number and weight of clusters.

Qualitative aspects of must
Intermediate to lower early ripening, on technological examination upon the harvest, the grapes have average pH values and low sugar levels.

Sensory profile of the wine
Very high values for the dry fruit note, medium for floral, spicy-vegetable and persistence, complexity also average.
Soil characteristics
Deep, skeleton from absent to common, topsoil surface, clayey soil or loam-soil-clay in depth, neutral to sub-alkaline reaction, poor drainage.

Vegetative and productive aspects
Greater vegetative potential, higher productivity for a greater number and weight of clusters.

Qualitative aspects of must
Intermediate earliness of ripening, at technological examination upon harvest the grapes have low pH values and average sugar levels.

Sensory profile of the wine
High values for the floral note, accompanied by the average values for all the other descriptive variables, medium-low complexity.
Soil characteristics
Deep or very deep, skeleton common to abundant, loamy or loamy-sandy topsoil, loamy or loamy-clayey at depth, sub-acid reaction, good drainage.

Vegetative and productive aspects
Intermediate vegetative potential, average productivity for fertility of shoots, number and weight of clusters.

Qualitative aspects of must
Intermediate earliness of ripening, on technological examination upon harvest the grapes have high sugar levels and medium pH.

Sensory profile of the wine
Very high values for the dry fruit note, high for spicy-vegetable and persistence, low for the floral notes, medium-high complexity.
Soil characteristics
From deep to very deep, skeleton from poor to frequent, loamy-clayey texture on the surface, clay or loamy-clayey at depth, sub-alkaline reaction, good drainage.

Vegetative and productive aspects
Intermediate vegetative potential, average productivity for fertility of shoots, number and weight of clusters.

Qualitative aspects of must
Intermediate earliness of ripening, on technological examination upon harvest the grapes have high sugar levels and medium pH.

Sensory profile of the wine
Very high values for persistence, high for spicy-vegetable and dry fruit, low for floral, very high for complexity.
Soil characteristics
From shallow to fine, limited by sandy-loam substrate with gravel and pebbles, often very compact, skeleton from frequent to abundant, sandy-loam or loam texture, sub-alkaline or alkaline reaction, moderately rapid to rapid drainage, water stress in summer.

Vegetative and productive aspects
Lower vegetative potential, lower productivity due to lower productivity of shoots, number and weight of clusters

Qualitative aspects of must
Greater early ripening, static summer accumulation, on technological examination upon harvest the grapes have higher pH values and higher sugar levels.

Sensory profile of the wine
Very high values for the spicy-vegetable note, average for dry fruit and persistence, low for floral, high complexity.