A note from enologist Leonardo Valenti on the 2013 Franciacorta Brut

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Above: Leading Italian enologist and consultant Leonardo Valenti visited the Barone Pizzini winery today where he tasted base wines for the 2013 Franciacorta Brut.

Notes on the 2011 Franciacorta Brut

Parcelization and balance in our work in the vineyards and in the cellar are the two pillars of our technical approach since the 2011 harvest.

The thing that makes our winery different from all the others in Franciacorta isn’t the winemaking technique but rather the unique characteristics of our vineyards, each with its own unique and unmistakable characteristics.

Employing the same winemaking process, you can obtain wines that are completely different from one another because their provenance is different.

Parcelization: every vineyard has its own characteristics and for this reason each parcel is managed differently in all phases of production (pressing, lees aging, clarification, etc.).

We manage 25 vineyards and each one bears unique fruit, an expression of that parcel. In the winery, we try to make the most of that difference by employing a different, ever respectful approach to each parcel via two paths:

-Customized treatments for each single parcel (no standard treatement);
-Careful use of the lees that helps to reduce the artificial nature of extraneous elements (thus the wine helps itself using its own tools).

Coordination between our work in the vineyards and in the cellar

Pressing

Every parcel produces grapes with unique sensorial characteristics. The very shape of the berries reflects this diversity. The berry can more or less elastic and it can have a higher or lower juice content. For this reason, it requires a studied approach to pressing. Grapes with different characteristics cannot be pressed in the same cycle. We’ve also reduced the yields during pressing from 65 to 60% in order to increase the quality of our musts.

Lees Aging and Clarification

The must needs to be perfect. It needs to be nurtured the same way a child is nurtured as she/he becomes a healthy adult.

Once the wine reaches “adulthood,” it’s much harder to perfect it. The use of lees aging is an important tool in the wine’s development.

The lees allow us to reduce the amount of sugars used because they impart sweet components to the wine that help to create its balance. This means less artificiality and more longevity for the wine.

We should add that the lees capture oxygen and thus allow us to reduce the use of sulfur. Again, clarification is individualized for every single parcel. No standard approach is every employed.

This approach uses the vineyard and its grapes as its guide as we examine each parcel individually and then create the blend using the individually vinified parcels.

Leonardo Valenti

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