Today I am writing to inform you of this beautiful initiative dedicated to all lovers of Franciacorta wine resident or passing through Milan! Just now I received this e-mail:

We are happy to announce that Berlucchi has opened in Milan Berlucchi Franciacorta Lounge. The new, elegant space overlooking the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele is located on the third floor of Il Mercato del Duomo in Piazza del Duomo. We thank you for your attention and look forward to a "Franciacorta only" toast!

Here are excerpts from the press release I received (I'm not in the habit of publishing press releases, to be honest, I'm even a little bit against it... but since I was in Piazza Duomo in Milan a few evenings ago and felt the lack of such a place, I feel I should inform you that Franciacorta is finally here!)

The Mercato del Duomo spreads vertically over 4 floors, with a total area of 5,000 square metres, 3,000 of which are open to the public, reflecting the progressive stages of processing of raw materials and different consumption experiences: from food in its simplest and most natural form to processed products and transformed into recipes, from fast consumption to a slower experience.
This vertical experiential path is reflected in the different concepts developed within Il Mercato del Duomo: the Bar Motta, which in an evocative atmosphere, a perfect combination of tradition and modernity, offers coffee and croissant products of the highest quality; the Market, the main novelty of the new point of sale, managed by Compagnia Alimentare, which reproduces the traditional city market composed of food stalls of local producers and suppliers, selected with the contribution of UNISG, where visitors will find the excellence of the Lombardy region, and not only; the Bistrot Milano Duomo, the new generation concept inaugurated in 2013 at Milan Central Station, which through a wide offer developed on two floors enhances typical products and the recovery of artisanal processing practices, in line with Autogrill's new catering philosophy the Terrazza Aperol, a trendy place and symbol of the traditional Milanese aperitif; the restaurant-laboratory Spazio - a project of Niko Romito Formazione - where the young chefs of the Training School of Castel di Sangro (L'Aquila) will share with guests the stories, ideas and emotions that arise from the conception of a dish to its realisation. And today, to complete this offer, the lounge signed by Berlucchi Franciacorta.

Among the protagonists of Il Mercato del Duomo, the project signed by Autogrill in collaboration with the University of Gastronomic Sciences of Pollenzo, could not miss Berlucchi, the pioneer of Franciacorta, the most noble classic method in Italy. On the third floor of the new "cathedral of taste" in Milan's Piazza Duomo debuts the Berlucchi Franciacorta Lounge, the elegant metropolitan space where one can taste the finest Franciacorta wines from the historic Borgonato house accompanied by tastings that exalt the aromas of Berlucchi '61 Brut, Rosé and Satèn, pure freshness and elegance in the flûte, and the complex profile of the Franciacorta Millesimati and Riserve wines. Guests in the elegant lounge can choose between plated tastings, balanced samples designed to best accompany Berlucchi Franciacorta wines, or à la carte. The products, which are always fresh, are arranged in the showcase of the visible counter, while the lounge staff will be able to suggest the best and most suitable Berlucchi pairing for one's personal choice.

The menu ranges from cured meats and cold cuts to fresh fish - octopus and potatoes or salmon - with appetising vegetable side dishes and the ever-present hints of cheese, both mature and fresh. Berlucchi Franciacorta Lounge is a new meeting and social place for the city of Milan: comfortably seated inside, in a relaxed and informal atmosphere, you can enjoy the marvellous view of the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II to brighten your lunches and dinners in company.

Berlucchi Franciacorta Lounge will therefore be the prestigious yet 'democratic' city business card of an area rich in flavours, beauty and culture. But it will also be a container of stories, music and the senses, because from 2 December it will host weekly appointments with musicians, personalities from the world of culture and expert tasters.

"The idea of opening the Berlucchi Franciacorta Lounge in Il Mercato del Duomo immediately caught our attention, both because of the great partners behind the project and because of the charm of the location," says Cristina Ziliani, Berlucchi's Managing Director of Communication. "At the Berlucchi Franciacorta Lounge we will enhance the unique pairing capacity of this wine, flanking our Franciacorta wines with tastings selected by experts from the University of Gastronomic Sciences in Pollenzo, with which we have been collaborating for some time now".

Cristina Ziliani continues: "Fifty years ago, the intuition of a young oenologist, my father Franco, was decisive in rewriting the destiny of Franciacorta; today, as the second generation at the helm of the company, we are becoming ambassadors of Franciacorta wine quality in an international marketplace, and we take our guests through a multi-sensory journey to discover a wine, a territory and a method. Berlucchi Franciacorta Lounge is a unique place, a great opportunity for us and for the whole of Franciacorta".


All that remains is to find out what will happen at the event on Wednesday, 2 December, at 7pm... the invitation looks promising 🙂 🙂

See you soon,


[Update 1 December]. I met Cristina Ziliani last Friday, during the graduation ceremony of the Italian Sommelier Association. Laura and I graduated last March, but for various reasons the ceremony was delayed... well, I was glad to hear and meet her... and I also tasted a really special Palazzo Lana Satén reserve! (Anyway, I'll write you the details of the graduation in a moment 😉 )


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