There are questions capable of changing the destiny of people and places.
“What if we made a sparkling wine the French way?” it was one of those.
In 1955 the young and volcanic winemaker Franco Ziliani turned it to Guido Berlucchi, a country gentleman. Berlucchi was looking for a consultant capable of improving his Pinot del Castello and instead found the partner for a taste adventure that would change the destiny of Franciacorta. Ziliani was fascinated by the elegant figure of Berlucchi, by his elegant home – Palazzo Lana Berlucchi – and by the ancient underground cellar.
His youthful dream was to produce a classic method in his native territory, Franciacorta, and he dared to propose to Berlucchi the idea of a "sparkling" wine in an area accustomed to still wines. Berlucchi accepted and the two pioneers were joined by his friend Giorgio Lanciani. The challenge began and, after some less fortunate years, in 1961 three thousand bottles of Pinot di Franciacorta were sealed. Uncorked the following year, they turn out to be excellent.
Franciacorta was born!
Berlucchi today is a great symbol of Italian excellence in the world, that is, the winery that gave rise to the production of classic method sparkling wines in Franciacorta.
Today the Berlucchi cellars are managed by the Ziliani family: Cristina, Arturo and Paolo have made their father Franco's teachings their own and have taken up the legacy of Guido Berlucchi. The vineyards owned by the winery make up a fifth of the entire denomination and are now in organic conversion . In addition to the 90 hectares of property, Berlucchi manages another 435, for a total that well exceeds 500 hectares.
But the real pride of the Ziliani family is made up of the vast underground cellars and, above all, the historic cellar, dug 10 meters below ground level by Guido Berluchi's ancestors in the 17th century. Here the bottles of sparkling wine find the ideal environment for refinement. Next to the ancient cellars stands the Palazzo Lana Berlucchi, a fascinating sixteenth-century residence embellished with friezes, frescoes and ancient furnishings.