Top quality, a unique terroir and constant investment in research and innovation: these are the ingredients for wine whose international popularity is always on the increase.
Franciacorta, a single word which sums up a geographical region, a production method and a wine, Italy’s first to be made exclusively with the traditional method and the first to obtain its Protected and Guaranteed Designation of Origin (DOCG) status. A growing attention in global markets to quality wines together with a marketing strategy focusing on local promotion is contributing to Franciacorta’s popularity abroad as a worthy alternative to French champagne.
Franciacorta Consortium 2022 Economic Observatory data shows positive export growth rates accounting for 11.5% of total sales partly on the strength of a progressive international trade recovery after the pandemic hiatus. As compared to 2021 Switzerland is in first place, followed by Japan, the US and Germany. And sales in all these countries were up in 2021, especially Germany (+46.3%) and Japan (+28.2%).
Despite the undeniable impact on international trade bound up with reduced demand in the (frozen) hospitality sector and the cancellation of trade fairs and exhibitions, Covid-19 was seen by producers as an opportunity to develop online sales channels fostered by a tendency by wine lovers to seek out top quality wine for home consumption in this period. This ultra-pleasant new habit, which survived the pandemic, has not come at the expense of sharing a good glass of wine with friends, perhaps at producer wine tasting events, enabling consumers to be introduced not only to sparkling wine tasting but also to the attractions of the area and the culture revolving around wine.
There’ll be plenty of opportunities like these in 2023: an inaugural event across the Atlantic took the form of a Festival Franciacorta in Miami, on 7 March at Seaspice Brasserie & Lounge, on the river bank and with spectacular views of the city skyline. The over two hundred people attending the event were given the chance to try out aromas and food pairings for all Franciacorta’s various types, from Franciacorta to Franciacorta Rosé by way of Franciacorta Satèn, demonstrating that longer ageing periods and time in the bottle can make for greater character, complexity and sophistication (as in the case of Franciacorta Millesimato and Franciacorta Riserva).
Tastings of the wines of the seventeen wine producers present at the Festival and the seminars run by the American Franciacorta Ambassador set the Franciacorta Weeks in motion. These are two week events, from 14 to 30 April, in which Franciacorta’s sparkling wines are promoted in dinners and creative events in various city venues.
The Americans are not the only people attracted by the appeal of the Brescia hills and its stylish, sophisticated wines to celebrate special events with. Japan is one of Franciacorta’s most important markets, as the double figure Consortium Economic Observatory export growth data for 2022 shows.
For Japanese cuisine – famous for its pursuit of balanced flavours and harmony between ingredients – sparkling wine is a perfect partner, capable of measuring up to these high standards and accompanying and enhancing the delicate flavours of its fish-based dishes. The sophisticated, modern image of wines such as Franciacorta, with their fine perlage and straw yellow colour, are emblematic of the elegant and seductive style of life so beloved of the Land of the Rising Sun.
Without going as far afield as the Orient, there are Western countries with long-standing top-quality winemaking traditions which are increasingly appreciative of Italian sparkling wines. Foremost amongst these are Switzerland and Germany, whose geographical proximity and the hard work done by wine estates to promote their products have consolidated Franciacorta’s presence in these markets and found them a place in their prestigious sector events.
Right here in Düsseldorf, from 19 to 21 March, seventeen producers will be promoting their wines at ProWein, an international wine and spirits trade fair with over 6000 exhibitors from 61 nations: Franciacorta’s participation at this important event with professionals from all over the world will be an opportunity to make new contacts and foster the dissemination of this unique Italian land and culture.