|Franciacorta, Italy's Champagne|
No trip to Italy is complete without a winery tour. While travelling from Lake Maggiore to Venice we made a stop at the Fratelli Berlucchi Winery near Lake Iseo. This family winery produces both still and sparkling wines, including Franciacorta.
|Lake Iseo Vineyard|
The Fratelli Berlucchi wine cellar is housed in a 15th century palazzo. Modern wine vats share space with wall frescoes that are centuries old.
|Frescoes at Fratelli Berlucchi|
Bottles used to be turned by hand, one by one. Today the job is done much more efficiently by placing the bottles in a large crate which is then rotated mechanically.
After touring the wine cellar we sampled some of the wines. It was only 10 o'clock in the morning so the platters of meats and cheese were a welcome addition to the table. And I discovered a delicious local cheese: a mild, soft-ripened variety called robiola.
For those who are interested, Wine Enthusiast has a good article that explains all about the classic method of sparkling wine production and Franciacorta's place in the global marketplace.
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