Deconstructing the Veneto

The Veneto region is a fascinating section of Italy, packed tight with “wine country,” gorgeous cities and hamlets, and some stunning natural scenery.

The area is considered an ideal destination for wine lovers, foodies and honeymooners as the region is romantic, picturesque and produces some fabulous wines.

The Veneto is a huge area bordered by Lake Garda in the west, Venice and the Adriatic Sea to the east, and the ski resort of Cortina d’Ampezzo in the far north.

There are seven provinces in greater Veneto: Belluno, Treviso, Venezia, Verona, Vicenza, Padova and Rovigo. Key rivers include the Adige and the Po, and there are smaller rivers such as the Brenta with its beautiful villa-studded banks.

The Veneto is jam-packed with vineyards, and is home to a multitude of appellations, including:

  • (DOCG) Bardolino Superiore, Recioto di Soave and Soave Superiore (using the Garganega grape primarily).
  • (DOC) Colli Euganei (making great Cabernet Franc and Merlot-based wines), Bianco di Custoza (refreshing white wine made with the Riviera del Garda), Bardolino (on the eastern shore of Lake Garda, producing mainly light reds and strong rosés made with the Valpolicella trio of grapes), Lugana (aromatic whites by such flagship cellars as Ca dei Frati, near the shores of Garda’s Sirmione), Prosecco di Conegliano-Valdobbiadene (bubbly made at some beautiful estates such as Villa Sandi), and Valpolicella (known for its superb Amarone and Recioto wines).

Other DOCs include Gambellara (an historic wine region south of Vicenza, making Garganega-based Reciotos and Vin Santos, along with dry whites); Arcole (known for its sandy soils); Montello e Colli Asolani, Lison-Pramaggiore and Monti Lessini (whites, reds and bubbly); Breganze (north of Vicenza); Merlara; Colli Berici (Tocai Rosso is an interesting local grape); Corti Benedettine del Padovano, Valdadige (confusingly, this appellation is used by different regions and provinces: Verona in Veneto and Bolzano and Trento in Trentino-Alto Adige); Bagnoli di Sopra; Riviera del Brenta; San Martino della Battaglia; Colli di Conegliano; Garda; Vicenza, and Vini del Piave (named after the Piave River).

Adding to the allure of the Veneto is the collective attitude of the winemakers—mostly men, and most from families who have been making wine for generations. These are proud vintners who love nothing more than seeing a customer enjoy the product of their labors.

Posted in Wine Region Profiles
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