Grapes in the Franciacorta region of Italy, between Milan and Venice.
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About midway between the major Italian cities of Milan and Venice sits the wine region of Franciacorta, famous for its high-end sparkling. If you haven't heard of it, you're not alone, because its wines have only been appearing on export markets in the past 15-20 years. While the production method is the same as in Champagne, and the grapes of the DOCG predominantly the same (82 percent chardonnay and 14 percent pinot noir), style comparisons with the Champagne region should be avoided.The wines come in several styles, from the brut, with a minimum 18 months of lees-aging, up to a reserva which requires a minimum of 60 months on lees. White grape-only sparkling wines, mostly chardonnay-based, are often regarded as the thoroughbreds of sparkling wines and champagnes.San Cristoforo Brut is already a tightly structured wine with lemony yeastiness on the nose, while the Stefano Cola Millesimato 2007 – 100 percent chardonnay – is ripe and intense with supreme elegance and precision.
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