In Italy, you’ll be hard pressed to travel a mile without experiencing some incredible wine. We like to believe our guides to each region can help you narrow it down a bit. So this wisdom drop is about the unbelievable region of Veneto, encompassing Venice and Verona.
These two magical cities carry a lot of history with them from the moat like majesty of Venice to the heart-wrenching streets of Verona in Romeo and Juliet. But they hold more than just the fateful tales of forlorn teens and colorful gondolas. Within the boundaries of the Veneto are one of the most popular Italian white wines of the 20th century, a rich red, and a sparkling wine that has charmed the world for centuries.
Just east of Verona is the Soave wine region which has become one of the most recognizable Italian wines after Pinot Grigio and Chianti, and is known for the white wine produced by the millions every year. The native grape here is Garganega, a calm but acidic white grape that has strong notes of lemon and citrus. The wine became so popular that the designation of origin was expanded to include more land, which then included other white grapes like Trebbiano and Chardonnay. If you’re picking up a Soave, read the label to see what kind of grapes you’re getting.
Valpolicella is a smaller section of the Veneto that produces such beautifully rich red wines that there are 5 tiers from which to select. From lowest cost to highest, there is the Valpolicella Classico, Valpolicella Superiore, Valpolicella Superiore Ripasso, Amarone della Valpolicella, and the Recioto della Valpolicella. These do get richer and more full-bodied (and higher in ABV!) as you go up the tiers, mostly because they become more vineyard specific and spend longer in fermentation phases.
And finally, (and some would argue most importantly), Veneto is known for turning Prosecco into the global phenomenon it has become. There are only nine provinces within two specific regions in the world that can produce Prosecco: Veneto and Friuli-Venezia Giulia. This bubbly is specific to characteristics that can be found only in the microclimates that exist in this region near the Adriatic Sea. To truly be a Prosecco, the wine must be at least 85% Glera, a grape that thrives in the unique geography of Veneto.
The region of Veneto is storied and historical, and like much of Italy, has outstanding wines so specific to the area. When looking for any of the above mentioned varietals, make sure to check the designation of origin on the bottle to ensure you’re getting the true beauty!
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