Veneto is a major wine region in the north-east of Italy, based around the beautiful city of Verona, made famous by Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. And at the other end of the region, the unique port city of Venice. Lakes, rolling hillsides, towns steeped in history, and gastronomic traditions are a magnet for wine and culture lovers. Veneto produces almost 1/5th of all Italian wine, and if you avoid the bland, characterless bulk production, you’ll find delicious, exciting wines from quality-focused winemakers.
There are 43 DOCs and DOCGs and the diversity of wine produced is astonishing. Veneto is home to Prosecco, now produced in huge quantities, but better quality examples are found in Valdobbiadene, and the recently created sub-zone of Cartizze. The important whites are Soave, Lugana and Bianco di Custoza. For the reds it’s Valpolicella, Bardolino, and the world-renowned Amarone, and its ‘junior cousin’ Ripasso. Not forgetting the Recioto style made with sun-dried grapes. As with any Italian wine, Classico or Superiore on the label usually indicates a better quality wine.
Prosecco is made from Glera. There is also a lesser-known local sparkling wine made from Durello. For whites, Italy’s most ubiquitous grape Trebbiano is found in various guises e.g. Trebbiano di Lugana; Garganega is used for Soave; other local whites are Pinot Grigio, Verduzzo and Fruiliano. The 3 main black grapes used in both Valpolicella and Amarone are Corvina, Rondinella and Molinara. There are also extensive plantings of Merlot.
There is considerable climatic diversity in the region. In the northwest the foothills of the Alps descend along the eastern edge of Lake Garda, their path mirrored by the Adige river, creating a cool, alpine-influenced climate. Other areas have a Mediterranean climate with warm, dry summers and mild, wet winters. In the rolling hills and flatlands the terroir is mostly characterized by alluvial and volcanic soils. There are also pockets of limestone deposits and volcanic, basaltic lava.
Past Tours to Veneto
Verona. Perfect for Shakespeare’s star-crossed lovers and wine lovers alike. We were based in this beautiful city, which is also known for the Roman Arena which hosts the world-famous opera festival during the summer. Our superb hotel was perfectly located just a stone’s throw from the Arena and all the other main sights. We visited wine producers in Valpolicella, Lake Garda and Soave and tasted some wonderful wines including Amarones, Luganas and the lesser known sparkling Durellos. We enjoyed food & wine matching lunches in beautiful settings overlooking Lake Garda, a private guided walking tour of Verona and visits to boutique wine producers. We could see why Verona is the city of love: because we loved it.