Since 1620 the name La Montina has been used to describe the country estate of Benedetto Montini descendent of Pope Paul VI.The La Montina estate was founded in Franciacorta in 1987 by three brothers, Vittorio, Gian Carlo and Alberto Bozza. Today La Montina- or should I say The La Montina Estate as it is so called- has produced many vintages and has devoted a great deal of hard work to developing new winemaking concepts and technological advances. At the core of these developments has always remained La Montina's unbreakable bond with the land, respect for the local 'terroir' and a constant pursuit of quality.
Franciacorta La Montina is produced in accordance with the strict laws laid down by the 'Consorzio Vini Franciacorta' (the body responsible for regulating the production and maintaining standards) of which it is a part. The laws governing the wine are the strictest in the world relating to the production of "Metodo Classico" (The Champagne or traditional Method) sparkling wine. These rigid guidelines are designed for absolute quality.
The production of Franciacorta demands only the use of noble grape varieties, (Chardonnay and Pinot Bianco for the white and Pinot Noir for the red) and these must be hand harvested in baskets with a capacity of 18-20 kg. Its key characteristic is derived from the natural second fermentation in the bottle and the subsequent slow maturation and refinement on the lees (dead yeast cells). This period of maturation must be no less then 18 months for the non-vintage wine, 30 months for the vintage and at least 60 months for the Riserva.
The harvest, completed manually without affecting the grapes maturation, starts at the beginning of August allowing the grapes to maintain high acidity. Since 1999 Gian Carlo Bozza and the winery staff have been using a unique vertical 'Marmonier' press constructed by local artisans and friends of the La Montina estate. The aim is to maximise the quality of the juice during the pressing and the use of this special press is extremely rare in Franciacorta, in fact it is one of only two available in the whole region. This type of mechanical press takes advantage of the full width of the vessel which has a diameter of 3 metres but a height limited to only 120 cm, to reduce the outflow time of the must and yet achieve a very soft pressing without breaking the skins and with a yield of 35%-40% juice. This soft pressing allows the berries to maintain all of their phenolic qualities which would largely be lost through an excessive, violent pressing.