The origin of the name derives from the white stones (corna) with which the old farmhouse was built. A natural amphitheatre left neglected and uncultivated to the point that it was stigmatised as but a vestige of an ancient past.
Luigi Lancini, however, had always been fond of the area and eventually managed to purchase the land in 1968, despite being taunted by many. The hilly fields, after levelling to remove mounds and ditches, were subjected to deep tillage, tested and selected. The land was used to cultivate high-quality vines and build cellars; it also provided space for olive groves and orchards, and became the site of a dedicated fosterage.
Cornaleto is located in the Adro Municipality.
Situated in the west-central part of Franciacorta, it is historically renowned for its wine production, as reported by the ancient Township Coat of Arms, showing a letter “A” surrounded by succulent bunches of grapes, as well as by the name itself, seemingly derived from the Ligurian-Etruscan toponym “Adrusco”, meaning “abundant in vineyards” or from “Atrusca”, a variety of grape known by those populations.
It’s well worth visiting the Bargnani-Dandolo Manor, currently the town hall building, the parish church dedicated to St. John the Baptist, which contains a tryptic by Romanino, the 14th century watchtower, the 15th century St. Maria Assunta parish with frescoes of the Ferramola School, the nearby ruins of the drawbridge relic of the old castle, as well as the Madonna della Neve sanctuary, hosting the Silk and Flax Museum.
Quality and passion
Franciacorta is a hilly area of sandy moraine soils in the Province of Brescia, located east of the river Mella, south of Mount Orfano, west of the river Oglio and north of Lake Iseo.
The numerous villas and mansions are a testament to the long and relaxing holiday periods enjoyed by the gentry of the past, thanks to the mild climate and enchanting landscapes.
Today, it’s a popular destination among demanding, sophisticated holidaymakers.
The etymology of the name is controversial: interpretations include a derivation from the exemptions applied to the numerous monastery courts, thus considered “Franchae Curte“, as well as from the legends linked to invasions by the Franks: many prolonged bloody battles were fought around these castles.
Eventually, the Franks took over, but after having overcome the fortifications they started indulging in all sorts of violent crimes, rapes and looting. So the people rebelled once again, and despite their rudimentary weapons they took the Franks by surprise and forced them to withdraw.
Hence the battle cry “France had it short”.
Grapevines have been cultivated here since time immemorial, as testified by Pliny and Virgil in their works. “Libellus de vino mordaci” by Gerolamo Conforto, in which a lively sparkling bottle-fermented wine is defined as “mordacissimo“, (“very mordant”), dates back to 1570.