Franchina e Giarone

Franchina e Giarone 
Luca Pizzetti 
Emilia-Romagna, Italy 

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Luca Pizzetti makes wine in the hills of Modena in Emilia-Romagna, northern Italy. The region sweeps from the Apennine Mountains to the river Po, encompassing Bologna and Parma, just two of the cities which have garnered worldwide fame for their rich, culinary tradition. Lambrusco was also born here: Italy’s sparkling red wine.

Franchina and Giarone were the first two plots of vines Luca acquired when he returned to his homeland. Luca started working in the textile industry in Africa when he was 20 years old but a few years later he decided to begin again and become a vigneron in the hills of Modena where he grew up. 

The young winemaker embarked on his new journey with 4 hectares of rented vineyards and 4 of his own, some of which he planted in 2018 with a small but diverse selection of old, local varieties. Along with grapes, Luca grows pears, apricots and cherries, as well a couple of hectares of cereals.  

The vineyards are planted exclusively with native grapes, ranging from 20 to 50 years old. Varieties include Lambrusco Grasparossa, Trebbiano, Sgavetta, Negretto, Malbo Gentile, Uva Tosca and Festasio an ancient grape variety that almost disappeared with the decline of traditional viticulture in the Italian hills.

Luca predominantly makes sparkling wines, which he refers to as pét nats. While most pét nats are bottled during the first fermentation in order to retain CO2, Luca’s sparkling wines are fermented dry in the tank and re-fermented in the bottle in the spring following the harvest. This second fermentation is kick-started by adding some of the must from the same wine (kept refrigerated from harvest-time) which contains natural yeasts and sugar. Luca believes this process gives his sparkling wines less stress and more balance.

These are wines with finesse and precision and, although not disgorged, with none of the cloudy or yeasty traits typical of most pét nats.

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