Italian Sparkling Wine: Prosecco or Franciacorta?

Posted by Sean Fewell on

As long as the examples in question are of high quality, the question of Prosecco or Franciacorta is down to personal taste. Having cleared that up, we'll take a look at the differences between these two iconic sparkling wines.

The most noticeable difference is price. This is not an indicator of differences in quality, but reflects the relative cost and time to produce these wines.

Prosecco is produced from the Glera grape. It is aromatic, highly productive and grown on young vines. It is well suited to producing refreshing sparkling wine in the Charmat method; designed to be drunk young.

Franciacorta is a fairly new addition to the Italian wine portfolio, but is highly regarded. It is Italy's answer to Champagne - produced from Chardonnay, Pinot Bianco, Pinot Nero and Erbamat by the Metodo Classico (Méthode Champenoise) production method.

The main difference between the Charmat and Metodo Classico methods is the second fermentation. For Charmat wines this is in large steel tanks, while for Metodo Classico wines this is in the bottle. Ageing on its lees in the bottle produces a more complex wine, requiring suitable grape varieties from mature vines with low yields. The investment and production costs are much higher for a Metodo Classico sparkling wine, compared with a Charmat sparkling wine.

If you enjoy a fresh, fruitier bubbly, then Prosecco is probably for you. If you prefer your bubbly more refined and complex with a Champagne-style profile, then Franciacorta is probably for you.

But... There can't be a rule without an exception...

We have a craft Prosecco from Loredan Gasparini that is produced from mature Glera vines in the Metodo Classico method. Indigenous yeast from the vineyard is used. Vigna Monti is a truly unique and intriguing Prosecco.

Prosecco v. Franciacorta at a glance:

 Prosecco Franciacorta
Home Northeast Italy Northern Italy
Region Veneto, Friuli–Venezia Giulia Lombardia (Lombardy)
Denomination Asolo Prosecco DOCG
Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco DOCG
Prosecco DOC
Franciacorta DOCG
Attained DOCG Status 2009 1995
Grape Variety Glera Chardonnay, Pinot Bianco, Pinot Nero, Erbamat
Production Method Charmat Metodo Classico (Méthode Champenoise)
Second Fermentation In tank In bottle
Ageing N/A 18 to 60 months (1.5 to 5 years)
Price Point £ ££ - £££


Browse our Sparkling Wine collection for a fabulous selection of Prosecco and Franciacorta.

Why not try our "50 Shades of Glera" Craft Prosecco case - three very different expressions of the Glera grape; a unique Prosecco showcase.

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