Lombardia is Italy's industrial powerhouse and home to the separatist Northern League. Vinously speaking it is most well-known for traditional method sparkling wine, Franciacorta, which may explain why chardonnay and pinot noir are the most popular grapes of the region. Unusually, rice and polenta are much more common than pasta in Lombardia. The Risotto alla Milanese is heavily enriched with butter and Parmagiano Reggiano and then tinted and scented with saffron. Another beloved grain in Lombardia cooking is buckwheat. This flour is used to make pizzoccheri, noodles that are served with cooked vegetables and cheese.
Franciacorta is one of the best-kept secrets among lovers of traditionally made sparkling wine. Champagne and Cava are fairly well understood in our market: Franciacorta less so. Not to be outdone, the region stipulates the wine must receive longer lees contact than the minimum required for Cava and Champagne. A case in point is this Brut, which receives 36 months of aging on lees before disgorgement.
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