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Independent Wine Review: Nino Franco wines “benchmarks”

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Above: Nino Franco in a recent photo taken outside the Villa Barberina, the family’s bed & breakfast.

The Independent Wine Review
February 15, 2014

The wines of the Nino Franco winery are quality benchmarks in Prosecco and specifically Valdobbiadene (North East Italy) and this is thanks to the tireless work of Primo Franco, who both labours in the vineyards and travels around the world to explain the differences between his Prosecco and other Prosecco.

At a revealing dinner in February 2013 (full article here) Primo Franco rallied against volume-orientated producers in Prosecco and extolled the virtues of wines produced from hand-tended vines located on the verdant hillsides of his Valdobbiadene, over those that are machine tended and located on the plains below. The tasting of Primo’s range of “Nino Franco” Prosecco that followed was conclusive and showed that vines tended with love, affection and human hands(!) tended to produce wines that are more flavoursome, complex and attractive than mass produced equivalents. It is this that is that is at the heart of the Nino Franco winemaking philosophy.

Originally established in 1919 as the “Cantine Franco” winery by Antonio Franco, today the Nino Franco winery produces more than a million bottles of wine a year. Whilst the majority of grapes are purchased from a network of growers (each of whom are assisted by Nino Franco technicians throughout the year) a few hectares of vineyards are estate owned.

More than half a dozen DOCG classified Prosecco are currently produced at the Nino Franco winery, with “Faive” (a Merlot-based sparkling rosé) and the new “Primo Brut” (a sparkling Chardonnay) the only wines of the Nino Franco range not to be produced from Glera grapes. The “Primo Franco” Prosecco Superiore may be this winery’s signature bottling, but two single vineyard Prosecco (the “Riva di San Floriano” and “Grave di Stecca” bottling) are just as (if not more) characterful and accomplished.

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DOCG Nino Franco People Prosecco

The Nino Franco Winery, founded in 1919

Antonio Franco founded the “Cantine Franco” Winery in Valdobbiadene in 1919. Valdobbiadene is located at the foot of the Prealps, in the Venetian region, and is famous for the Prosecco vine and wine production. This winery is proud to be one of the oldest in Valdobbiadene, located in the town center, not far away from the countryside and the vineyards.

Thanks to a careful and wise management, the estate has been growing and evolving throughout four generations of producers. Antonio founded it, Nino expanded it, Primo improved the company performance and Silvia is the future of the brand.

In 1982, when Primo took over management, he began to travel and to successfully export the wines in Europe as well as in the Americas and the Far East. At the same time he invested in the production process in order to make high quality wines, eliminating all those wines that were atypical for the area. He also started to monitor closely the grape cultivation with the aim of achieving high quality from the raw material level to the final product.

Primo Franco was one of the first pioneers to export the Prosecco and to introduce a different sparkling wine than Champagne into the international market. He has been successful, thanks to his open minded personality, his spontaneity, reliability and competence as well as his charm and ability to communicate his love for his job, and last but not least thanks to his high quality and delicious wines.

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Nino Franco

Nino Franco Faìve Rosé Brut Sparkling

“Faìve,” from the Venetian dialect meaning “sparks.” When farmers burn the wood from pruning, the direction the sparks fly is said to forecast the result of the harvest. This Faìve wine is made using a bleeding wine from Merlot and Cabernet Franc, making the wine very special and different.

COLOR: Rose petal-like pink
AROMA: Fruity, red fruit, pear.
TASTE: A long persistence, creamy, brut but with natural softness.

Vintage: 2012
Type: Rosé
Grape Variety Used: 80% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Franc
Appellation: Valdobbiadene DOCG
Alcohol Level: 12.00%
Length/Type of Fermentation: Short skin and must contact at a low temperature to obtain the right color. The first fermentation takes place in steel tanks and the second one in “cuve close”.
Packaging Available: 6 – 750 ML

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Nino Franco

Nino Franco Rustico Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore DOCG

Rustico is connected to the old local tradition of making wine using short second fermentation in the bottle and leaving the sediments in the wine. Although no longer the technique, the name has remained and is considered to be a brand name.

COLOR: Straw-colored, bright
AROMA: Very fine, persistent, pleasant, crisp, fruity and flowery.
TASTE: Creamy, refreshing and balanced.

Vintage:NV
Type: Sparkling
Grape Variety Used: 100% Glera
Appellation: Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore DOCG
Alcohol Level: 11.00%
Length/Type of Fermentation: Pressing, de-stemming, cooling of must and fermentation in steel tanks at a controlled temperature. Second fermentation in “cuve close”.

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Nino Franco Prosecco

Welcome to the Nino Franco Electronic Media Kit

Italy - Veneto

Above: The Franco family’s Villa Barberina in Valdobbiadene, a historic 18th-century villa in the heart of Prosecco country that the family has restored and converted into a bread & breakfast.

The Nino Franco Electronic Media Kit was created by Terlato Wines International to provide a virtual resource for wine writers, bloggers, trade members, and consumers.

It is intended to serve as a platform for information on Nino Franco wines, news and media coverage of the wines and the people who make them, and updates from the winery and winemaker.

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