The Veneto is one of Italy’s largest wine producing regions, says Marco Rossi at Great Italian Chefs, and has been cultivating vines since the Etruscan times. “Veneto’s wine suffers from a slightly split personality,” he writes. “On the one hand you have the lightness and brightness of the sparkling wines made using Glera grapes coming from the Conegliano Valdobbiadene area, which are made to drink straight away, but on the other you can experience large and majestic wines such as Amarone, made from a blend of ancient grape varieties such as Corvina, Corvinone and Rondinella.”
Touring the Veneto’s wine regions makes for a delightful side trip from Venice. Barely 20 minutes drive from Verona is the picture-postcard Castello di Soave, presiding over acres of Garganega grapes that produce one of Italy’s most reliable whites: Soave. It offers “a naturally rich consistency and freshness that is never too biting or acidic,” says the Wine Enthusiast, making it an easy-drinking, food-friendly wine. Nearby is the Valpolicella region, which has been in the business of wine production “since the ancient Greeks introduced their passito technique (the use of partially dried grapes) to create the blockbuster flavours we still enjoy in the region’s Amarone and Recioto wines,” explains Lonely Planet. The region now produces some of Italy’s finest red wines, according to John Brunton at The Guardian, adding that “most winemakers are open for tastings, and many are opening B&Bs too.” And Hannah Seaton at Decanter recommends sipping Venice’s best known sparkling wine, prosecco, at the wineries that produce it along her Prosecco Road tour. Also at Decanter, Fione Sims shares her address book of top hotels, restaurants and shops as well as her Perfect Day in Prosecco.
To set up guided tours and tastings in any of these wine regions, get in touch with Venice & Veneto Gourmet.
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