Franco Ziliani, enthusiastic young winemaker just graduated at the Oenology School of Alba and wine consultant for several wineries of the area, saw in Guido Berlucchi the ideal figure for the adventure of taste that started the oenological "revolution" of Franciacorta wine. In 1961, after several unsuccessful attempts, Ziliani sealed three thousand bottles of Pinot di Franciacorta: wine tasting turned out great, and this convinced him to repeat the following year also bottling Max Rosé, classic method created specifically for a Berlucchi’s friend, the elegant Max Imbert, and first sparkling rosé of Italy. In the following decades, Berlucchi was considered the Italian sparkling wine par excellence, party and daily pleasure of wine, of toast and of "whole meal". Attention to the new brand increased, and in 1977 Pinot di Franciacorta became Cuvée Imperiale.
Berlucchi’s vineyard in Franciacorta covers about five hundred acres of land, between ownership and transfer, a significant portion is conducted with the aid of the techniques of precision agriculture.
High-density vineyard plantings, together with spurred-cordon pruning, careful cover-cropping, and pre-harvest cluster-thinning, ensure a low number of high-quality grape clusters.
With Thousand and One Vineyard project, they have continued the zonation program, to say the subdivision of the growing area into homogeneous blocks, which has been undertaken by Consorzio Franciacorta. This has allowed them to classify precisely all of the vineyards from which they source their grapes. The data, enriched by infrared aerial mapping, allow targeted operations and harvests, of course manually, spread out according to the effective grapes maturity.
In the cellar, the intangible heritage of experience prevails, together with excellent technologies, which coax the absolute finest from their grapes. In the winter following the harvest, they begin “cuvée trials”: over two hundred base wines are tasted, to determine the character of the future Franciacortas. After bottling, the historic cellars will host the bottles from 18 to 60 months: while the wine is re-fermenting and then maturing in the bottle. The same care that the company has for wines, involve the environment around it, reducing the environmental impact of their production.
Being Berlucchi means having responsibility for the most widely-known Italian classic method, Cuvée Imperiale, and representing the Italian style in more than 30 countries.