The Consortium was founded on 5 March 1990 in Corte Franca to guarantee and monitor compliance with the rules for producing Franciacorta wine. The name of the geographic region where its Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Blanc vines are grown is used to identify this wine, which is produced exclusively by the method of secondary fermentation in the bottle. In one word, Franciacorta describes an area, a production method and a wine.
Having moved to its present site at Erbusco in 1993, the Consorzio Franciacorta has about 200 members including wine growers, wine producers, bottlers and others involved in the production chain for the designations Franciacorta DOCG, Curtefranca DOC and Sebino IGT. Its distinctive logo with a castellated letter F distinguishes its wines and refers back to the ancient mediaeval towers that characterise 19 municipalities in the heart of Lombardy, by the shores of Lake Iseo: Adro, Brescia (part), Capriolo, Cazzago San Martino, Cellatica, Coccaglio, Cologne, Corte Franca, Erbusco, Gussago, Iseo, Monticelli Brusati, Ome, Paderno Franciacorta, Paratico, Passirano, Provaglio, Rodengo Saiano and Rovato,
A Brief History Great wines have been produced in the region of Franciacorta since the sixteenth century. A study carried out on the Napoleonic land register of 1809 certifies the existence of almost 1000 hectares of vines, which would have been well above the needs of the 40,000 inhabitants, and therefore clearly destined for sale. Its modern history began in 1961, with 11 producers, 29 hectares of vineyards and a production of 2000 hectolitres of Pinot di Franciacorta.
The name of Franciacorta, designating the land between Brescia and Lake Iseo, appeared for the first time in 1277, in reference to the ‘curtes francae’, a tax- and duty-free trade area.
A conspiracy of the nobles gave up the city of Brescia to the Republic of Venice. The battlemented towers, typical of Franciacorta, began to appear at that time.
In 1570, Girolamo Conforti, a Brescia-born physician, wrote his “Libellus de vino mordaci” describing – deftly and enthusiastically – the bubbly wines of the area, which he defined as nipping, i.e. lively and effervescent.
The first-ever bottle of Franciacorta was made by the “Guido Berlucchi” winery.
With a decree of the President of the Italian Republic, Franciacorta was granted the Denominazione di Origine Controllata (DOC).
The voluntary Consortium for the protection of Franciacorta wine is founded with 29 producer members.
In March, the Franciacorta Technical Production Rules were approved. In November, the Franciacorta trademark was registered in Italy.
The viticultural zoning study began.
A new production rulebook imposed natural bottle fermentation as the only permitted spumante-making method; the “Metodo Classico” caption disappeared, while the compulsory grape production area was introduced.
The Consortium’s logo became the only identification of Franciacorta DOCG, the first Italian brut to obtain recognition of the "guaranteed" status. In September of the same year, the Consortium approved the Franciacorta DOCG rulebook.
The Vine and Wine Regulations were approved. It is a self-imposed set of rules, which are an evolution of the Technical Production Rules and are more stringent than the production rulebook.
The first bottles of Franciacorta with a DOCG State seal were released.
The “Strada del Franciacorta” (Franciacorta Road) was created with the purpose of promoting and developing the tourist potential of Franciacorta.
The first Franciacorta Festival took place, starting a tradition of events still celebrated in September across the entire area.
The new EC 753/02 regulation stated that Franciacorta can be designated as only “Franciacorta” with no other addition, including the DOCG wording, given the renown it enjoyed.
The first organic Franciacorta saw the day at “Barone Pizzini”.
The Decree mandating the Consortium to perform control functions over the Terre di Franciacorta DOC and Franciacorta, also known as "Erga Omnes", was published in the Gazzetta Ufficiale [Official Journal] (Ministerial Decree dated 29/5/2001). The Consorzio per la tutela del Franciacorta was among the first consortia in Italy to enforce this Decree, in addition to the routine surveillance activities it has carried out since 2000.
Upon explicit request by the Consortium, a decree regulating the use of the "Talento" wording by Italian VSQPRDs and VSQs excluded the Franciacorta DOCG area from resorting to such option in combination with its designation and presentation. This amounted to an express acknowledgement by the Ministry of the excellent quality and distinctive specificity of Franciacorta.
A new section on the www.franciacorta.net website made it possible to provide more information about the wine than that shown on the label as a means of promoting transparency.
The new Franciacorta DOCG, Curtefranca DOC (in replacement of Terre di Franciacorta) and Sebino IGT rulebooks were published in the Official Journal.
New restrictions were introduced in the Franciacorta production rulebook, to promote rigor and pursue better quality, thus confirming the Franciacorta rulebook as the most stringent for this type of wine.
Franciacorta was the “Official Sparkling Wine” of Expo Milan 2015 with an exclusive wine bar inside the exhibition grounds.