The origin of the term Franciacorta comes from an ancient toponym for the area, curtes francae, small communities under the protection of Benedictine monks settled in the Middle Age on a hilly area near lake Iseo. Curtes francae were exempted from taxes because monks were dedicated to the recovery of lands and to the farm education of the labourers. Curtes francae were the principal trading centre of that period.

The name Francia Corta appeared for the first time in 1277 in Statuta Communis Civitatis Brixiae, to identify the west area of the city of Brescia including the municipalities of Gussago, Sale, Urago, Rodengo and Ronco. The first geographic definition of Franciacorta appeared in the statute of the Venetian Doge Francesco Foscari (1429) with an outline that retraces the current boundaries defined by the product specification of the DOC wines of Franciacorta, approved on 21 July 1967.

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