Known for their Prosecco, the estate has been growing and evolving throughout four generations of producers. Antonio founded it, Nino expanded it, Primo improved international distribution and today, Silvia Franco is the future of the brand.
Antonio Franco founded Nino Franco Winery in Valdobbiadene in 1919. This year marks the winery’s 100th Anniversary. I had the wonderful opportunity to celebrate the 100th-anniversary celebration with Primo Franco, while he was visiting New York City. Shortly thereafter, I visited Valdobbiadene where I experienced first-hand the nuances of Prosecco and the exciting terroir on which it is produced.
Primo Franco is the third generation of his family to lead the historic Nino Franco Winery, beginning in 1982. Primo is widely considered an architect of the Prosecco revolution across the world, owed in part to the era in which he came of age.
When Primo took over management from his father, Nino, he began to travel with greater frequency to Europe, the Far East, and North America, where he introduced Prosecco across the globe, building relationships with hundreds of wine buyers and restaurateurs, while creating an impactful presence of Prosecco across international markets.
While globetrotting, he simultaneously invested in the production process to make high-quality wines. He also started to closely monitor grape cultivation to achieve high quality from the raw material level to the final product.
Thanks to a continuum of thoughtful practices and leadership, the estate has been growing and evolving throughout four Franco family generations. Antonio founded it, Nino expanded it, Primo improved the company performance and Silvia (Primo’s daughter) is the future of the brand.
This past summer the Prosecco Hills of Conegliano and Valdobbiadene were proclaimed UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The producers of the Consortium of Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco DOCG, including Nino Franco, were the driving force behind the region being recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Although Primo’s daughter Silvia is now the winery’s CEO, Primo continues to travel abroad, tasting and sharing the magic of his family’s wines with wine lovers across the globe and is an outspoken advocate for traditional farming practices in his beloved Valdobbiadene. Over dinner, his passion was visible as he was not only an advocate for his wines but was a strong proponent of Prosecco DOCG Superiore.
In celebration of his winery’s 100th Anniversary, we tasted four wines, that exhibited an elevated level of Prosecco.
Rustico Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore DOCG (SRP $24)
I have a great fondness for this wine, as I have been drinking Nino Franco Prosecco for the last ten years. This is oftentimes my go-to Prosecco, as it has personality and style that is distinct from other Proseccos.
This non-vintage Prosecco is great as a refreshing aperitif, and it pairs beautifully with oysters. It also is wonderful with risotto, fish and white meat dishes. The sparkling wine is made from 100% Glera, using grapes grown on hillside vineyards at high elevation. The bubbly is bright with a straw-colored hue. Its aromas are very fine, persistent and crisp with flowery and fruity notes. On the palate, it is refreshing and balanced with notes of apples and pears.
Nino Franco Riva di San Floriano Prosecco Superiore DOCG 2017 (SRP $37)
This was my favorite of the night. It was a brilliant straw-colored bubbly. It has fruity aromas of pears, apples, and bananas with hints of wisteria. The perfumed nose becomes even more intense in the mouth. The taste shows a very long persistence with mouthwatering acidity which gives the wine elegance and structure.
Faìve Rosé Brut 2017 (SRP $29)
“Faìve”, comes from the Venetian dialect meaning “sparks.” When farmers burn the wood from pruning, the direction the sparks fly is said to forecast the result of the harvest. This Faìve wine is made using a bleeding wine from Merlot and Cabernet Franc, making the wine very special and different. It is a gorgeous soft rose petal-like pink with fruity aromas of red fruit and pear. The rosé has a long persistence, creamy finish with natural softness.
A Prosecco named especially after Primo Franco himself. It is a vintage Prosecco from a parcel of a vineyard located in Valdobbiadene. The parcel is always the same each year. The color is bright with a pale straw hue. Its intense aromas are persistent, aromatic, fruity and balanced. The palate is smooth and creamy with a nice core of ripe grape and apple flavors that gain complexity on the finish.