Nino Franco is celebrating 100 years of winemaking in Valdobbiadene, located in a hilly portion of Veneto, a little over 30 miles from Venice. Nino Franco remains family owned and is now in the capable hands of the fourth generation of the Franco family. We’re celebrating 100 years of Nino Franco with a glass of Nino Franco Rustico and a birthday cake, both provided to us for the occasion. What a delicious idea!
Nino Franco’s history began in 1919 when Antonio Franco established Cantine Franco in Valdobbiadene. His son, Giovanni (Nino), took over from him and eventually Nino’s son, Primo, took over responsibility from Nino.
Primo credits his father with providing the opportunity for him to travel the world. This enabled him to taste sparkling wine worldwide. From this experience Primo formed his idea of what quality sparkling wine should taste like. “I have to have first a good white wine, then bubbles,” he states, recognizing the importance of quality grapes and modern winemaking techniques. As Primo was tasting sparkling wine worldwide, he was also introducing the world to Nino Franco wines. Primo’s daughter, Silvia, is now actively involved in managing Nino Franco winery.
As Silvia notes, Nino Franco Rustico is their flagship Prosecco. It is made using 100% Glera sourced from multiple vineyard sites in Valdobbiadene. It is intended for every day sipping and priced to accommodate weeknight meals.
Nino Franco Rustico NV Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore DOCG — pale yellow in the glass with generous effervescence. Bubbles are mouth filling and long lasting. Aromas and flavors of pears, yellow apples, flowers and hints of toast are supported by nice acidity for a clean, citrusy finish. 11% abv. SRP $19
This non-vintage sparkler is easy sipping with ample flavor and nice balance. And while this lovely wine doesn’t need food it does very will with food. We enjoyed a light meal of cheese, olives and salami for something simple. On the second night, Nino Franco Rustico made the perfect pairing for oven-roasted cod, delicata squash and broccolini. And I appreciate the very low abv.
Prosecco is a sparkling wine made within the large Prosecco DOC, which lies in the Veneto and Friuli-Venezia Giulia regions of northeastern Italy. It is made using the tank method, where the bubble-producing second fermentation takes place in a pressurized tank rather than in the bottle as with the traditional method. Glera is the main grape variety, and must comprise at least 85% of the blend, along with a few other varieties.
Prosecco made within this larger, flatter Prosecco DOC is light and friendly. It is intended to sip before a meal or to be used as the base for sparkling cocktails. Who doesn’t love the occasional mimosa?
If you’re looking for a more complex Prosecco, one fit for a meal, then look to Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore DOCG. It’s a small region with a big name that is located between the communities of Conegliano and Valdobbiadene. The area is characterized by hills with many south-facing vineyard sites and complex soils.
We first discovered Nino Franco Rustico several years ago through a sponsored #NationalProseccoDay celebration. That experience put Valdobbiadene on the map for us and introduced us to the complexity and food-friendly nature of Nino Franco Rustico. Our preferred way to enjoy Nino Franco Rustico is with a meal, though at Nino Franco’s suggestion we have mixed Rustico with simple syrup to make delicious cocktails.
How was the cake, you might be wondering? Pretty darn tasty is the answer. It arrived in excellent condition, packed in dry ice with receiving and defrosting instructions from We Take The Cake. The generous, buttery icing made the cake taste very luxurious.
As we approach the holidays many of us will be looking for quality sparkling wine to accompany festive meals. Nino Franco Rustico will do very nicely.
Happy Birthday to Nino Franco and thank you for including us in your celebration.