A past that has ancient roots, deep down in the soil. A memory made of authenticity and right choices. The story of more than a century of passion, commitment and respect.
And that’s just the beginning.
The name Franciacorta appears for the first time in 1277 in a mention of the so-called corti franche, medieval villages exempt from tax or levies.
Brescian doctor Girolamo Conforti publishes his Libellus de vino mordaci, the “book of sparkling wine” in which he describes the sparkling wines produced here. The caliber of his work is matched only by his enjoyment of the wines. He calls them “mordacious,” in other words, “stinging” wines because of their bubbly sparkle.
End of the 18th century
Centuries passed: Franciacorta’s beauty and natural resources attracted wealthy local families as well as others. The Barons Pizzini von Thurberg were among them, a noble family from Rovereto township, friends of Mozart and regular guests in the salons of the era.
Beginning of the 19th century
Winemaking traditions were already well established in Franciacorta. The Napoleonic land registry of 1809 includes 1,000 hectares planted to vine and 9,940 hectares of farmland that included vines. So many vines would have more than satisfied the needs of the inhabitants at the time and so growers clearly intended to sell the wines.
Brothers Enrico and Bernardino form the Pizzini Farming Company. They make their mark immediately with advanced farming practices.
Beginning of the 20th century
Giulio Pizzini Piomarta von Thurberg follows in the footsteps of the founders.
Baron Edoardo Pizzini Piomarta (1882-1966), then commander of the Pinerolo Cavalry School, draws “the prancing horse” in a letter sent to Francesco Baracca. It would later become the symbol of Ferrari automobiles. (From Un’eredità Lombarda by Franca Pizzini, edited by Gabriele Mazzotta).
He was called the “ace of aces” and was one of the most famous aviators of World War I:
Francesco Baracca (1888-1918), “the Prancing Horse,” author of 34 aerial victories during
“the great war,” and one of the most celebrated wartime figures of the era.
As a young cavalry officer in training at the Scuola di Cavalleria (Cavalry School) in Pinerolo township (Piedmont), he befriended Baron Edoardo Pizzini Piomarta Delle Porte (1882-1966), founder of the Barone Pizzini winery.
Some time after Baracca became fascinated with aviation and abandoned horsemanship to become one of the most decorated “fly aces” of early aerial combat, he wrote to his friend Edoardo, inquiring about a favorite horse at the school.
In response, the young Baron sent him a sketch of the “prancing horse”: the cavallino rampante or horse rampant, a symbol of courage and ferocity borrowed from European heraldry, a rich tradition with which the Baron was surely intimately familiar.
The Baron, in the note that accompanied the sketch, wrote:
“Your horse is fine but whenever someone tries to mount him, this is what he does.”
Baracca was so attached to the horse that he decided to have the drawing reproduced on the side of his aircraft (a Nieuport 11, nicknamed Bébé in aviator parlance).
And thus was born the legend of the prancing horse, one of the most enduring icons of the era between the two world wars.
Un’eredità Lombarda, Da Milano alla Franciacorta, Franca Pizzini ed. Mazzotta.
Baron Edoardo Pizzini Piomarta builds the Franciacorta Golf Club in the verdant setting of Corte Franca township.
Giulio Pizzini Piomarta joins his father in managing the family company, devoting himself primarily to viticulture.
After the war
Franciacorta is recognized as an official Italian appellation. Barone Pizzini is among the first wineries to be registered in the newly created DOC (“designation of controlled origin”).
The winery produces its first bottle of Barone Pizzini Franciacorta.
Some entrepreneurs get involved with the estate. They found the basis for the current winery. Their focus is the people behind the wines, the environment, and the appellation.
The winery begins experimenting with organic grape-growing.
The winery joins the Ita.ca project. Its scope is that of reducing the winery group’s greenhouse gas emissions. Barone Pizzini is the first company certified ISO 14064.
The International Wine Challenge calls the winery’s Franciacorta Rosé the best organic wine in the world.
The winery receives the Gambero Rosso “Special Prize for Sustainable Viticulture”. Barone Pizzini is now certified by CSQA, the leading organization for food and farming certification. A friend of Biodiversity in Franciacorta: Barone Pizzini is at the top of the list.
The first Franciacorta with Erbamat was born, an ancient native vine from Brescia rediscovered only in the last 20 years.