Franco Ziliani, chosen father of Franciacorta by the area’s winegrowers, guided the winery through the portals of the new millennium, which represents new yet always fascinating challenges. By his side is the second generation, in the figures of his children Cristina, Arturo, and Paolo, who are, respectively directors of Berlucchi’s communications, production, and sales and marketing.Today’s wine scene is much more protean and competitive than it was in the 1960s, and Franco’s children show every sign of having inherited the pioneer spirit and qualities of the creator of Franciacorta. Theirs is the credit, in fact, for launching the Berlucchi ’61 and Palazzo Lana Riserva lines, but in particular for the total re-structuring of the vineyards and wine-production facility, with the declared objective of absolute quality everywhere and of sustainability. The new generation and all the winery staff are vividly conscious, in all of their activities, of the lesson represented by Franco Ziliani, who still serves as winery president: to realize new achievements, one must have faith in one’s dreams and work hard to bring them to fruition, treasuring the lessons from the past, but gazing fearlessly towards the future. Buried ten metres beneath ground level, the historic cellar arouses wonder in today’s visitor, just as in the past. This great vault was constructed in the late 17th century by the ancestors of Guido Berlucchi, who aged their wines here.It is a very impressive sight, with its ancient walls bearing the patina of past centuries, the wooden riddling racks for the Franciacorta Riservas, and the niche that hold the last bottle of the 1961 vintage, eloquent witness of the “firstborn Franciacorta” and inspiration for the magnificent transformation of this growing area.The fascination represented by the Berlucchi cellar hardly ends with the historic vault, since the cellar continues through galleries and alcoves where the bottles enjoy perfect conditions for slowly maturing.
Equally fascinating is the “historical archive,” where bottles of the finest vintages are stored, neck down, to evaluate their performance over time.