Did you know…
- Bellavista is a mountain in the Bernina Range in Switzerland and Italy that’s almost 4k meters or 13k feet ?
- Bellavista in Italian translates to beautiful vista, great view, and good looking?
- Bellavista is a winery in Franciacorta northern Italy that makes a really good looking and great tasting sparkling wine?
Led by host Martin Redmond, this month the Italian Food Wine Travel group is checking out Italian sparkling wine and — you guessed it — we chose Bellavista in Franciacorta which is located in Lombardy, one hour east of Milan, bordering Lake Iseo in the province of Brescia as shown in the map below.
The furthest extension of the Rhaetian Alps, these gentle rolling hills originate from glaciers that retreated from the area over 10,000 years ago leaving behind glacial moraines with rich minerals ideal for growing wine grapes. The lake is key to moderating temperatures: in summer the heat is cooled by breezes coming across the lake and in winter the lake keeps the area from getting too cold.
Sparkling wines here are made pretty much the same way as they are in Champagne, France. In the Metodo Classico, wine ferments once then is bottled and ferments more following tirage (where yeast, nutrients, and sugar are added.) During this second fermentation creates the bubbles for which sparkling wines are famous. Learn more about the process in Franciacorta here. This labor intensive process contributes to the cost.
While wine has been made in the region since Roman times, and sparkling wine since the 16th century, it wasn’t until the 1950s that the region was officially recognized. Bellavista opened in 1977.
According to Bellavista, “NATURE REINVENTS ITSELF EVERY DAY. LIFE IS A CONSTANT INVENTION. ONLY BY LISTENING TO THE SILENCE CAN WE UNDERSTAND THE SOIL, THE WATER, THE AIR AND THE LIGHT WHILE THEY CREATE LIFE. ONLY IN THE SILENCE OF OUR VINEYARDS CAN WE RENEW THE INSPIRATION OF OUR WINES, THE BELLAVISTA WINES.”
2010 Bellavista Franciacorta Brut – 12.5% alcohol – $45
purchased and currently available at the Ventura Wine Co.
Each year, the Ventura Wine Company and Cave offers a sparkling wine event with food pairings. I bought this last year to enjoy on during my birthday celebration, but instead Sue made cassoulet and I never got around to opening it so when the samples of the wines we had planned to write about didn’t arrive in time for our planned tastings (we actually rescheduled three times!) I decided it was time to open this wine.
We paired it with appetizers including caviar and creme fraiche, then for dinner with a simple but high quality organic penne pasta from Italy with olive oil and fresh shrimp we bought from the fisherman in the Ventura Harbor; these shrimp were caught near Channel Islands National Park. They are incredibly sweet and flavorful; we sautéed them whole in the shell in butter, olive oil, and garlic.
Color: Pale, chiffon yellow, with beautiful small delicate foamy bubbles that float festively from the bottom of the glass.
Nose: Brioche, subtle yeastiness
Palate: Soft bubbles in the mouth, bright citrus, lemon, granny smith apple
Pairing: One of Sue’s favorite pairings with bubbles (as is many people’s) is caviar; this wine is no exception to the rule. The bright citrus in the wine loves the briny saltiness. The flavors of the meal should be as delicate as the wine itself. Rich and creamy will work, but choose subtle flavors that will not overpower the wine and allow it to shine.
Here’s what my fellow Italian Food Wine Travel mates are writing about:
- Host Martin Redmond of ENOFYLZ Wine Blog will be sharing A Distinctive Due of Italian Sparkling Wines #ItalianFWT
- Lynn Gowdy of Savor the Harvest suggests Italian Sparkling Wines To Try #ItalianFWT
- Jeff of foodwineclick want us to add some Sparkle Your Dessert with Moscato d’Asti #ItalianFWT
- Jen of Vino Travels~An Italian Wine Blog will be sharing Spaghetti and Clams with a Flight of Adami Prosecco #ItalianFWT
- Cam of Culinary Adventures with Camilla will be dishing up Italian Bubbles + Lasagna Bianca #ItalianFWT
- Wendy of A Day In the Life on a Farm will be Celebrating Leftovers #ItalianFWT
- Kat of Bacchus Travel and Tours show us how Italian Sparklers to Light Up Your Holidays #ItalianFWT
- Lauren of the The Swirling Dervish gives us A Trio of Italian Sparkling Wines for Your Holiday Table #ItalianFWT
- Susannah of Avvinare extolls the virtures of Lambrusco in Lambrusco – Perfect for the Holidays #ItalianFWT
- Katarina of Grapevine Adventures offers A Superior Sparkling Christmas With Bele Casel #ItalianFWT
- Nicole of Somm’s Table shares Classically Contratto: Beautiful Wines from Italy’s Oldest Sparkling Wine House
You’re invited to join our twitter chat on Sat. Dec. 1 from 8-9am Pacific or check it out anytime by using the hashtag #Winophiles.