On Mothering Sunday Flowers are always the way to go and to accompany them some Prosecco is also much appreciated! This Mother’s Day why not push the boat out and go for an alternative Italian fizz that’s much classier than your local supermarket’s finest Prosecco? Franciacorta is a wine region in the North of Italy, midway between Milan and Lake Garda, and today is producing some sparkling wines that are giving Champagne’s finest efforts a good run for their money. Franciacorta was granted DOCG status in 1995. The leading light of this region is Ca’ del Bosco, run by Maurizio Zanella. In the early 70’s Zanella led the Italian wine renaissance on a quest for excellence, pushing the boundaries of quality to new heights. He had a vision of producing sparkling wines, made by the traditional Champagne method, that would stand up in terms of quality as well as being representative of their terroir. He succeeded with a range of wines from his entry level Cuvée Prestige to the top cuvée “Annamaria Clementi”. The wines are rested for 28 months on the lees and disgorged in a unique oxygen free system patented by Ca’ del Bosco. This avoids oxidative stress and the need for additional sulfites making the wine purer, more appealing and longer lived. The Cuvée Prestige has aromas of preserved lemon, apricot, pineapple, orange peel and almond with a smooth mouthfeel and a long finish. At The Peat Inn as well as the Cuvée Prestige we currently list the “Zero Dosage”, a creamy wine with a more measured intensity. No additional sugar is added at the disgorgement stage resulting in a dryer, crisper wine. I was introduced to the wonderful wines of Ca’ del Bosco by Geoffrey who had enjoyed a memorable tasting of Ca’ del Bosco wines in Italy with Zanella himself and has raved about them since. There is also a very highly rated range of still wines in the Ca’ del Bosco portfolio for you to seek out. If you can’t find Ca’ del Bosco in your local wine shop it’s because the region only exports 11% of its output, a figure to give a Champagne producer a coronary. There are many other excellent producers now, spurred on by Zanella’s efforts. Look for Bellavista, Corteaura, Fratelli Berlucchi and Barone Pizzini. So this Mother’s Day treat that special person to a glass of Ca’ del Bosco, tell her it’s the pinnacle of excellence just like her and save the Prosecco for the Mother in law.