Ca' del Bosco winery, a true work of art
Visiting the Ca' del Bosco winery in Erbusco (BS) is not only a wonderful experience for the palate, it is also a wonderful experience for the eyes.
Everything starts right from the gate of the estate: not just a simple opening and closing device, but a bronze work by none other than world-renowned sculptor Arnaldo Pomodoro! Once you have crossed what is called the “Cancello Solare” or "Sun Gate" you will find yourself in a real park of oaks, chestnuts and acacia trees, through which you can see the beautiful vineyards.
The visit to the cellars to admire the innovative technologies used here is certainly a memorable experience. You can choose between different types of tours and tastings, depending on your individual tastes and needs. The wines are all extraordinary! It is no coincidence that Franciacorta Cuvée Prestige Brut is considered the best variety of Franciacorta in the world.
Cantina Bellavista, not just a wine, a grand... "opera"!
Erbusco is also home to another of the most prestigious wineries of the Wine Road: the Bellavista Winery, founded in Franciacorta in 1977 thanks to the entrepreneur Vittorio Moretti, who decided to transform the small winemaking business of the family into a full-scale company.
Bellavista wines are now famous all over the world and the Millesimo Brut has become the wine of honour of the Teatro alla Scala.
Each harvest is linked to a theatre season, and the 2018/2019 season, strongly focusing on Italian tradition, will be entirely accompanied by Brut 2013, a luminous vintage of perfect balance, in which all the beauty, history and nature of Franciacorta are reflected.
You can taste it at the end of one of the many routes available for a visit to the cellars and more: the Bellavista Experience Route, in fact, also includes an interesting walk through the vineyards and the entire estate. Don't miss it.
Bersi Serlini winery for an immersion in history
Visiting this wine-making business in Provaglio d'Iseo (BS) is like taking a real dive into history. The Domaine Bersi Serlini has its origins in the Middle Ages, when the monks of Cluny built the historic building of the cellars and were the owners for over 700 years. In 1886, it was acquired by the Bersi Serlini family and, little by little, became the thriving business it is today.
Among the tours of the cellars offered are several experiences not to be missed, such as the blindfolded tasting or the night tour. But Bersi Serlini is also home to two fine restaurants (one of which is the smallest in Franciacorta!) and a guesthouse divided into four suites, each dedicated to a master designer. So that the experience can continue... even the next day.
Berlucchi Winery, a world-famous brand
"What if we made sparkling wine the way the French do?" It seems that this was the question that the wine-making expert Franco Ziliani posed to Guido Berlucchi, who was looking for a consultant to improve his Pinot del Castello. The two became partners and, together with a third friend, Giorgio Lanciani, gave birth to Franciacorta Berlucchi, which produced as many as 3000 bottles in 1961.
Today, Berlucchi is known and appreciated all over the world and the company's historic winery, with its fascinating bricks and arches, dug ten metres below ground level, is a must for any wine lover. Here, too, you can choose from different types of tasting, including the Sunday appointment with an Aperitif Franciacorta that includes, in addition to the tour of the Historic Cellar with wine tasting, also a rich and tasty selection of meats and cheeses of the highest quality.
Cantina Contadi Castaldi, a former furnace that now hosts the best wines
The Cantina Contadi Castaldi is located in the former Biasca furnace, in Adro (BS), which was converted into what we see today during the 1980's, when Franciacorta was at the height of its development. Its spacious environments and long galleries where they cooked the bricks proved to be the perfect location to refine Franciacorta and welcome wine lovers from all over! And, in fact, the visit of this winery is absolutely remarkable, also because of its extension: 7000 square metres in total!
At the end of the visit (open to reservations only) you will be taken to the ancient tower, now a tasting room. There you can enjoy the fantastic Contadi Castaldi wines, but also an incredible view of the unique panorama of Franciacorta!
And of course, it wouldn’t be a real tour if you didn't taste the local specialties.
The gastronomy of Franciacorta is closely linked to the tradition of the area, a peasant tradition of meat, cheese and fish from the nearby Lake Iseo.
Surely one of the classic combinations with a local sparkling wine is a dish of assorted cured meats: definitely worth a try is the salami of Monte Isola, made with pork meat obtained from the thigh that is cut strictly with the tip of a knife and pressed with spices and sliced garlic, and then left to rest in red wine. The mixture is then stuffed and tied by hand into a natural casing, followed by a brief smoking process and a seasoning period of about a month. With a good Franciacorta Brut, it’s an absolutely perfect pairing!
- Attend the Franciacorta Festival in the cellar, which is held in September and is a weekend of culture, nature, sports and, of course, lots of wine! More than 60 wineries are involved every year. It is important to check the programme, as it changes from year to year, but which is always very interesting
- Visit the peat bogs of Sebino, an important nature reserve that is also revered for its biodiversity in the Lombard Po Valley. This is due to the variety of habitats and species, aquatic-palustrine, valuable or of interest at an European level, that are present in the territory, rare or at risk of extinction in Lombardy and Italy. An enchanting place even for lovers of photography!
- Admire the beauty of the Monastery of San Pietro in Lamosa, right next to the reserve, in a slightly elevated position. It dates back to 1083 and thanks to the money obtained from a crowd-founding operation started by the citizens of the area, led to a restoration project that lasted more than 20 years, which has returned the monastery, with its beautiful frescoes, to the community.
- A trip to Montisola, the largest lake island in Italy and in the whole of Central and Southern Europe, located right in the middle of Lake Iseo. Every day, countless ferries depart from the mainland to several destinations in the area that you can reach in a matter of minutes. A green and beautiful place, without cars and also perfect for excursions or a simple trekking excursion. Climbing to the top of the mountain, where the Sanctuary of the Ceriola is located, offers a truly priceless view.