Franciacorta

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The territory of Franciacorta is a section of the Province of Brescia in the Italian Region of Lombardy. Franciacorta extends from Mount Orfano (south of Rovato) on the southest area to the shores of Lake Iseo, and from the river Oglio on the western border to the town of Cellatica in the east. The geography of rolling hills was shaped by glacial action. The soil, glacial moraines consisting of gravel and sand over limestone, drains well, and is ideal for the cultivation of grapes and winemaking. The weather is mild and constant due to its location south of the foothills of the Alps and the tempering presence of large lakes. To publicize enotourism the district established a Strada del Vino Franciacorta on the model of the famed German Wine Route (Weinstraße) in 2001.

The area has been inhabited since Paleolithic times, with archaeological records left by Gauls— the Cenomani of Brixia (modern Brescia), Romans and Lombards. The name Franciacorta, attested in 1277, is thought to derive from curtes francae, the fortified courts of the Frankish empire established in the 8th century.

Rodengo is home to a Cluniac foundation, the Abbey of St. Nicholas, which has been inhabited by Olivetan monks since 1446. Other places of interest include Passirano, with a castle, and Provaglio d'Iseo, with a Romanesque church.

Among the most respected wine producers of Franciacorta sparkling and still wines in the region are Berlucchi, Bellavista and Ca'Del Bosco. Others include Mosnel, Muratori, Lantieri, Majolini,Ferghettina and Cavalleri.

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