What are the best Italian traditional method sparkling wines? Discover our list with photos, description and tasting of the 20 best Italian sparkling wines. From the most famous wines to the lesser known ones of the best wineries. We will mention the best Italian traditional method sparkling wines recommended by us while we will face the best Italian sparkling wines Martinotti Method and the best Ancestral Method sparkling wines in a dedicated article.
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- History and Overview of Italian Traditional Method Sparkling Wines
- Traditional Method sparkling wines obtained with autochtonous grapes
- List of the top 20 sparkling wines in Italy
- Traditional method sparkling wine pairing
What are the best Italian classic method sparkling wines, the most historical, well-known and famous in the world? Italian sparkling wines are among the most loved internationally, many have been awarded multiple awards and have become iconic, helping to write the history of world enology.
BRIEF HISTORY SPARKLING WINE IN ITALY
What is the history of the best Italian sparkling wines? The sparkling wine, or the winemaking process from which sparkling wines are obtained, has very ancient origins dating back to the ancient Romans.
In fact, there are countless testimonies of sparkling wines refermented in amphora mentioned in the writings of Virgilio, Properzio and Pliny the Elder. However, these types of wines were obtained with rudimentary techniques, very far from the modern sparkling wine.
We had to wait until the end of the 1700s in France and the second half of the 1800s in Italy to consolidate the modern traditional method sparkling wine, perfected thanks to the studies on fermentation by the historian French chemist Pasteur. The Classic Method in fact provides for the refermentation of the wine in the bottle, as in the “champenoise” method, whose invention is conventionally attributed to the French Benedictine monk Dom Pierre Pérignon.
The first modern Traditional Method sparkling wine in Italy, on the other hand, is attributed to the Piedmontese pharmacist and chemist Carlo Gancia, who, following his studies in France, decided to create the first Italian sparkling wine that could compete with the prestigious Champagne from beyond the Alps. In 1865 the first Italian Classic Method Spumante was born, obtained from Moscato grapes.
The new season of Traditional method sparkling wines in Italy developed later at the beginning of 1900. In 1902 Giulio Ferrari began producing Traditional method sparkling wines in Trentino, while Oltrepò Pavese sparkling wines were exported to New York as early as 1912. By the Italian Wine Society of Casteggio. Later, in 1961 Berlucchi made the first bottle of Franciacorta classic method sparkling wine in Lombardy.
In 1993 the Trento sparkling wine became Trento DOC Spumante, in 1995 the Franciacorta was awarded the Franciacorta DOCG designation, while in 2007 the Oltrepò Pavese acquired the Oltrepò Pavese Metodo Classico DOCG mention.
Since 2011 other denominations of Italian Traditional Method sparkling wines are recognized, such as Monti Lessini DOC in Veneto, and Alta Langa DOCG in Piedmont.
Let’s find out a brief overview of the best Italian Traditional method sparkling wines.
Trento DOC is certainly the most historic of the best Italian sparkling wines and its success is inextricably linked to the visionary intuition of the entrepreneur Giulio Ferrari. Furthermore, Trento DOC was the first Italian Traditional method sparkling wine to be able to boast the prestigious DOC in 1993.
Trento DOC is produced in the province of Trento in an area of 800 hectares, the allowed vines are Chardonnay, Pinot Bianco, Pinot Nero, Pinot Meunier, even most companies focus mainly on Chardonnay and Pinot Nero. To regulate it must refine at least 15 months on the lees in the basic version, and 36 for the reserve.
Find out more in the articles dedicated to the best wineries in Trentino Alto Adige.
OLTREPO PAVESE METODO CLASSICO DOCG
Oltrepò Pavese Metodo Classico DOCG is certainly among the most virtuous denominations among the best Italian Traditional method sparkling wines.
The Oltrepò Pavese Traditional method DOCG is a sparkling wine produced on an area of about 770 hectares within the Oltrepò Pavese area, in the province of Pavia in Lombardy.
It is produced starting from Pinot Nero (70% -100) to which other complementary grape varieties such as Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio, and Pinot Bianco can be added. (Max 30%). The minimum aging period on the lees is 15 months, which become 24 for the vintage version. Oltrepò Pavese Metodo Classico wine is also highly appreciated in the Cruasé version, a Traditional method rosé sparkling wine.
ALTA LANGA DOCG
In Piedmont, among the best Italian sparkling wines, the denomination Alta Langa DOCG (since 2011) is of great interest, produced in an area of about 300 hectares in rapid expansion, between the provinces of Alessandria, Asti and Cuneo.
Alta Langa DOCG is produced from 90 to 100% Pinot Noir and / or Chardonnay and requires aging on the lees for at least 30 months for the basic version and 36 months for wines with the mention of Riserva. It is also produced in a rosé sparkling version.
Franciacorta DOCG is certainly the most iconic sparkling wine denomination among the best Italian Traditional method sparkling wines of international resonance.
The origins of sparkling winemaking in Franciacorta are ancient, as evidenced by the studies on refermentation in the bottle conducted in 1570 by the Brescia doctor Gerolamo Conforti. However, the modern success is to be attributed to Franco Ziliani’s work with the Guido Berlucchi winery, who bottled the first bottle of the modern Franciacorta wine in 1961.
Franciacorta DOCG (recognized in 1995) is a Traditional method sparkling wine produced on an area of about 2900 hectares in the province of Brescia in the territory of Franciacorta, in Lombardy.
Franciacorta is produced mainly from Chardonnay and Pinot Nero but also from complementary vines such as the international Pinot Bianco and the native Erbamat. The minimum aging period on the lees is 18 months, which become 30 for the vintage version and 60 for the reserve version.
In addition to the rosé version, Franciacorta is also produced in the Saten version, exclusively Brut, and which provides for a lower pressure which determines a more silky and enveloping effervescence.
ITALIAN SPARKLING WINES OBTAINED WITH AUTOCHTONOUS GRAPES
Among the best Italian Traditional method sparkling wines, in addition to the classics obtained from Chardonnay, Pinot Nero, Pinot Bianco and Pinot Meunier, many other wines made from native vines should also be taken into consideration. In fact, there are countless minor denominations of Italian classic method sparkling wines that can reserve great surprises thanks to their unique and territorial character.
In the Aosta Valley, in the Morgex et de la Salle area, Traditional method sparkling wines can be found obtained from the autochthonous Prié Blanc vine, while Cortese is used in Piedmont.
In Veneto, for example, the Monti Lessini Metodo Classico DOC wines can be mentioned. It is an increasingly successful appellation that has about 120 hectares dedicated to sparkling wines, which are produced with the indigenous Durella vine. The Traditional method wines obtained by Glera are also interesting.
In Friuli Venezia Giulia the wines obtained from Ribolla Gialla are among the best Italian Traditional method sparkling wines, while in Emilia-Romagna some virtuous interpretations of Lambrusco Metodo Classico are very exciting.
In Liguria, wines produced from native vines such as Bianchetta and Vermentino and Pigato or in Campania with Asprinio d’Aversa should also be considered among the best Italian sparkling wines. In Tuscany and Umbria, Sangiovese and Trebbiano are used among the native vines for the production of Traditional method sparkling wines.
In Lazio, among the best Italian Traditional method sparkling wines, to discover the wines produced from the native vines Bellone and Nero Buono and Roscetto, while in the Marche it is a must to get involved with the classic method wines obtained from Verdicchio.
In Abruzzo, among the best Italian Traditional method sparkling wines, there are wines produced starting from Pecorino, while in Calabria the wines obtained from Montonico are very appealing.
In Sicily of great interest, among the best Italian Traditional method sparkling wines, the wines obtained from Carricante, Catarratto, Grillo and Nerello Mascalese, while in Puglia to be considered the wines from Bombino Bianco.
BEST SPARKLING WINES IN ITALY recommended by Jean Marco Palmieri
What are the best Traditional method sparkling wines in Italy? Discover the wines recommended by Italy’s Finest Wines. The excellences that have marked the history of the best Italian sparkling wines are truly many and any type of synthesis is inevitably lacking.
Some producers have been part of groups and movements, others have had unique stories as soloists. Let’s discover together some of the most historic, well-known and iconic and best Italian sparkling wines. We will also include other famous Italian sparkling wines and fine Italian wines that have been making headlines internationally in recent years. Do you want to indicate a company and a wine? Write to us.
Franciacorta Cuvée Annamaria Clementi 2011 – Ca’ del Bosco
Orange blossom flowers, broom and candied fruit extend towards notes of melted butter, viennoiserie and saltiness. On the palate it is dense and full-bodied, with an intriguing acid component that gives freshness and fades into a salty trail of good persistence, with continuous fruity-floral aromatic returns.
Fermented in small oak barrels, with a 6-month stop and malolactic fermentation. It carries out refermentation in the bottle according to the Classic Method and refines 8 years and 5 months on the lees.
One of the most iconic wineries in Franciacorta gives us a wine of rare elegance, complex, expressive, highly recognizable. Fully qualified among the best Italian classic method sparkling wines. Its history is inextricably linked to Annamaria Clementi Zanella to whom the name of the Cuvée is dedicated and to her son Maurizio, first assisted by the historic winemaker André Dubois and since the 90s by his virtuous successor Stefano Capelli.
Region: Lombardy (Franciacorta)
Indicative price: 100 €
Riserva del Fondatore ‘Giulio Ferrari’ Brut 2008 – Cantine Ferrari
Characteristics: In the olfactory spectrum notes of passion fruit and candied ginger stand out, embellished with melted butter, sweet woody notes and nuances of bread crust and viennoiserie. On the palate it involves with a sensational iodized flavor that amplifies the sip. Voluminous finish of great persistence and sharpness, enhanced by an elegant perlage of imperishable persistence. Refine 10 years on the lees
From the iconic winery that made the Classic Method famous in Italy: Surely one of the most famous and best Italian sparkling wines for its finesse and taste-olfactory complexity. The prestigious wine is dedicated to Giulio Ferrari, the founder of the Ferrari winery and a pioneer of Italian sparkling wine since 1902.
The history of Cantine Ferrari is linked to the Lunelli family, now in its third generation, flanked by the historic award-winning winemaker Ruben Larentis.
Region: Trentino Approximate price: 130 €
Franciacorta Brut ‘Cabochon’ 2014 – Monte Rossa
Description: Fragrant opens on notes of elderberry, hawthorn and yellow peach, continuing towards tones of bread crust and melted butter. The foam is creamy and inviting, enveloping the palate in a savory and snappy sip. Good persistence, Refine 54 months on the lees.
An unusual and virtuous interpretation of Franciacorta with a very pleasant iodized flavor and extraordinary persistence. Fully among the best Franciacortas
Indicative price: 100 €
Alta Langa Riserva Pas Dosé ‘Zero 140’ 2008 – Enrico Serafino
Description: Delicate and refined bouquet, articulated on notes of alpine flora, lime and aromatic herbs embellished with fragrant bread crust.
The sip explodes full and very soft, pulled by a material perlage a pleasant acid trail that leaves the mouth fresh and gratified. Long, lively and round finish. Refine 140 months on the lees.
From the iconic Piedmontese cellar: A multifaceted and exciting vintage wine: undoubtedly to be counted among the best Alta Langa for complexity and persistence.
Grapes: Pinot Nero 85%, Chardonnay 15%
Approximate price: 110 €
Rare Vintage Madame Martis Riserva 2011 – Maso Martis
Description: Lime, ginger and orange blossom are embellished with delicate pastry notes. The sip is punctuated by a lively acid vein and a fine and dynamic perlage.
A vibrant Classic Method wine: the great eloquence on the nose acts as an overture to a rich enveloping volume and savory on the palate.
Among the best Italian classic method sparkling wines.
Region: Trentino Approximate price: 74 €
Cuvée dell’Angelo 2012– Castello di Cigognola
Description: A kaleidoscope of delicate notes of elderberry, red currant and pomegranate grains is articulated, embellished with notes of viennoiserie and saltiness. The perlage is material, creamy and enveloping and stretches towards a finish of good length, flavor and cleanliness. Pas dosé wine, aged 72 months on the lees.
Castello di Cigognola’s’ More Pas Dosé is an exciting wine with excellent potential for food pairing: fully qualified among the best Italian Blanc de Noir sparkling wines.
The important Oltrepò Pavese winery has collaborated in the past with the famous winemaker Riccardo Cotarella and is now assisted by the advice of Federico Staderini and Beppe Caviola. There are high expectations for the upcoming wines made by the renewed team, including the new talented and persistent young winemaker Francesca Elli. The complexity deserves a second look: ad maiora Castello di Cigognola.
Region: Lombardy (Oltrepò Pavese) Indicative price: 40 €
Spumante Millesimato Rosé ‘Riserva D’Antan’ 2008 – La Scolca
Description: Strong notes of red currant, pomegranate grains emerge on the nose, embellished with honeyed tones, candied fruit and fragrant notes of croissants. On the palate it is animated by lively savory sensations that envelop the sip towards a finish rich in fruity and mineral echoes. Refine on the lees for about ten years.
A sensational Rosé Classic Method: great expressiveness and complexity of aromas. Certainly among the best Italian rosé sparkling wines.
Region: Piedmont (Gavi) Indicative price: 60 €
Trento Spumante Brut Riserva ‘Cuvee Dell’Abate’ 2009 – Abate Nero
Description: Delicate and refined bouquet, articulated on notes of alpine flora, lime and aromatic herbs embellished with fragrant bread crust. The sip explodes full and very soft, pulled by a material perlage a pleasant acid trail that leaves the mouth fresh and gratified. Long, lively and round finish. Refine 80 months on the lees.
Multifaceted and exciting wine: undoubtedly to be counted among the best Italian classic method sparkling wines. The story of Abate Nero was born from the synergy of Eugenio de Castel Terlago and the oenologist Luciano Lunelli, who in 1973 decided to join forces to create one of the best classic method sparkling wines in Trentino.
Region: Trentino Approximate price: 40 €
Trento Spumante Brut ‘Riserva del Fondatore 976’ 2010 – Letrari
On the nose it is intense, broad and fresh with succession of floral notes turning to notes of candied fruit, orange peel, and nuances of sweet spices, vanilla, melted butter and bread crust. On the palate it is rich and silky with a great softness and freshness embellished by a light mineral iodine note that gives volume and character in the mouth. Refine 96 months on the lees.
A wine with a seductive nose of great eloquence and refined effervescence, which is released on the palate rich, soft and voluminous and of sensational persistence. Virtuous interpretation of the Classic Method. Fully qualified among the best Italian sparkling wines. The winery was founded in 1976 and is today coordinated by the oenologist Lucia Letrari and her son Paolo Emilio.
Region: Trentino (Rovereto) Approximate price: 70 €
Spumante Metodo Classico Extra Brut Riserva ‘1919’ 2014 – Kettmeir
Characteristics: The aromatic picture that outlines the tones of lychee and alpine flora synergistically linked to nuances of exotic fruit, orange peel and viennoiserie is interesting. The sip is expansive and intense: it envelops urgently, with a marked acidity and dense and elegant bubbles of rare persistence. Refine 60 months on the lees.
One of the most virtuous and elegant interpretations of the Extra Brut Classic Method in Italy is born in Caldaro: fully among the best Italian sparkling wines for great intelligibility of the fruit embellished with fragrant evolutionary notes: expressive, imaginative and with a sensational creaminess perlage. The name of the wine is inspired by the founding date of the Kettmeir winery in 1919 by Giuseppe Kettmeier.
Region: South Tyrol (Caldaro) Approximate price: 43 €
Oltrepò Pavese Metodo Classico Dosage Zero ‘Farfalla Cave Privée’ 2013 – Ballabio
Features: Delicate notes of pain aux raisin, candied orange peel, melted butter and floral stamps. The mouth is expansive and of sensational volume, rhythmed by a pleasant perlage of excellent finesse that gives breadth and envelopment to the sip. End of great persistence. It matures on yeast for 8 years.
The historic cellar of Oltrepò Pavese offers a classic zero-dosage method of rare elegance and extraordinary olfactory eloquence. Among the best wines of the Oltrepò Pavese sparkling wines for the intensity of taste and smell and finesse of the perlage.
Grapes: Pinot Noir 100%
Indicative price: 70 €
Franciacorta Pas Dosè Riserva 2008 – Mosnel
Characteristics: It opens up fragrantly, enthralling us with notes of acacia honey, chalk and hints of candied apricot and fragrant croissant. On the palate it develops rich with a pleasant iodized mineral note and captivating acidity. Refine on the lees for 102 months.
Among the best Italian classic method sparkling wines for its ability to combine aromatic finesse and character at the sip: eloquent nose and very fine perlage of unusual elegance.
Region: Lombardy (Franciacorta) Indicative price: 60 €
Franciacorta Pas Dosé Riserva Bosio 2012 – ‘Girolamo Bosio’
Description: Delicate notes of lime and yellow peach are mixed with hints of hazelnuts, bitter almonds and reminiscences of melted butter. The sip is lively, punctuated by a vibrant granular flavor that stretches towards a finish with continuous fruity and mineral echoes. Refine 60 months on the lees.
Fresh, savory and juicy: a highly expressive label that does not renounce elegance. Among the best Franciacorta.
Approximate price: 50 €
Franciacorta Extra Brut ‘Comari del Salem’ 2013 – Uberti
Characteristics: Delicate notes of raisin bread, candied orange peel and melted butter. The mouth is lively, punctuated by a pleasant perlage of excellent finesse which gives amplitude and enveloping to the sip. Sensational persistence finish. It matures on the lees for 48 months.
It is a wine of rare elegance and great olfactory eloquence. Among the best Italian sparkling wines for taste-olfactory intensity.
Region: Lombardy (Franciacorta) Indicative price: 36 €
Trento Spumante Brut Riserva ‘Graal’ 2013 – Altemasi
Description: Varietal notes of alpine flora, grapefruit blend with hints of fragrant croissants embellished with hydrocarbon stamps. In the mouth it is fresh and snappy, supported by a granular iodine presence. Fruity finish of extraordinary persistence. Refine 72 months on the lees.
The Graal of Altemasi amazes us for its eloquent refinement of perfumes and perlage with a sensational texture. Virtuous interpretation of the Classic Method in Italy: fully qualified among the best Italian sparkling wines.
Region: Trentino Approximate price: 35 €
Franciacorta Dosage Zero 2011 – Castello Bonomi
Description: Clear hints of candied orange peel stand out, enriched by aromatic herbs and melted butter and notes of bread making. In the mouth it is ample, flattering the palate with a well balanced iodized trail with a marked acid grip. Refine at least 48 months on the lees.
An eloquent deep wine with multifaceted aromas and bubbles with a silky and refined texture: an expression of unusual finesse. Without doubt among the best Italian classic method sparkling wines.
Region: Lombardy (Franciacorta) Indicative price: 37 €
Alta Langa Blanc de Noirs Pas Dosè ‘For England’ 2015 – Contratto
Description: Citrus nose embellished with hints of lavender, black currant, wild strawberries and reminiscences of toasted almonds and viennoiserie. The sip is characterized by a fine and creamy perlage, driven by a sensational iodized flavor that culminates in a tonic and refreshing finish. Pinot Noir vinified in white with indigenous yeasts.
A wine of rare olfactory complexity, with a creamy and refined texture, produced by one of the most representative wineries in the Alta Langa area. Deservedly among the best Italian Classic Method sparkling wines.
Region: Piedmont (Alta Langa) Indicative price: 35 €
‘Pas Dosé 60’ Mesi Riserva Spumante Lessini Durello – Fongaro
Description: Delicate candied white pulp fruit and lime honey blend with chalky and fragrant croissant suggestions. On the palate it is silky and lively, with an intriguing acid component that gives it freshness and fades a fruity-fruity finish of great harmony.
The Pas Dosé di Fongaro Reserve amazes us with its eloquent refinement of aromas and the persistence of dense and silky bubbles. Virtuous interpretation of the Durella grape: one of the best Italian Classic Method sparkling wines for its sincere and territorial character.
Region: Veneto (Lessini Mountains) Indicative price: 33 €
Pensiero 2015 – Ca’ del Vent
Characteristics: On the nose emerge decided funky notes of yellow pulp fruit embellished with tones of viennoiserie, sweet spices and hydrocarbons. On the palate it is enveloping, silky and lively with a sensational aftertaste persistence. Refine 44 months on the lees.
Deservedly among the best Italian classic method sparkling wines. A whimsical character sui generis capable of surprising.
Region: Lombardy (Franciacorta) Indicative price: 45 €
Alta Langa Extra Brut Riserva 2015 – Coppo
Description: Ripe papaya, candied ginger and mandarin are mixed with balsamic and viennoiserie tones. On the palate it is soft and enveloping, savory and with continuous fruity and aromatic herb returns.
Lively and captivating, fully among the best Italian Classic Method sparkling wines for presence on the palate and retro-olfactory persistence.
Region: Piedmont (Alta Langa) Indicative price: 35 €
PAIRING FOOD WITH TRADITIONAL METHOD SPARKLING WINE
How do you combine classic traditional method sparkling wines? Dry traditional method sparkling wines are among the most versatile of all, suitable both for aperitifs and in combination with simple and complex dishes.
To combine traditional method sparkling wines, it must be borne in mind that the CO2 and the marked acidity of these wines have a cleansing power capable of mitigating the greasiness and fatness of the food. For this reason they are also particularly ideal with frying.
Furthermore, the flavor of these wines is ideal for harmonizing the sweet trend of the dishes. Some examples of pairing food and traditional method sparkling wine can be first courses with crustaceans and seafood, but also cold cuts, white meat dishes with a moderate structure.
For example, try a traditional method sparkling wine Monti Lessini DOC with Baccalà alla Vicentina, or, for an exotic combination, also try a Franciacorta Satèn with Sushi. Try the Franciacorta combination also with the classic Saffron Risotto but also to experiment with risotto with fatness such as Risotto with prawns creamed with lard.
Sensational is the egg with truffle with Alta Langa Traditional Method Sparkling Wine, but also a Traditional Method from Bellone or Nero Buono with Pasta alla Carbonara.
The aromaticity and freshness of a Blanc de Blancs sparkling wine can also be very convincing with spicy cuisine, such as Indian and Thai. Try the territorial combination of Asprinio d’Aversa with Pizza con Bufala Campana, or a classic Sicilian sparkling wine with fried seafood.
The pairing of traditional method sparkling wines with aged cheeses and flowery and washed paste cheeses is very interesting, so that the fatness and flavor are balanced by the freshness and effervescence of the wine. An interesting example could be the Trento DOC with Parmigiano Reggiano, or the Oltrepò Pavese Metodo Classico with the Burgundy Langres.
What are the best Italian sparkling wines?
What is the best Italian traditional method sparkling wine? Choosing is a difficult undertaking, which however inevitably is subject to the limits of a subjective opinion, which as such, by definition, is deficient and arbitrary. We have compiled our list of interpretations of virtuous quality of Italian traditional method sparkling wines from the best wineries according to our evaluations.
However, it remains essential to underline that the best Italian traditional method sparkling wine is the one that is able to excite us, also by binding itself to contingent situations and unrepeatable and intimate moments of our life. Therefore, we invite you to discover all the wineries that produce Italian traditional method sparkling wine and in their uniqueness, so that you can independently find and choose the wine that can be counted for you among your best Italian traditionalmethod sparkling wines.