Home to some of the great names of Italian wine, Veneto is a busy region of interesting DOC wines and quality minded producers.
The most famous wine in the Veneto is Amarone della Valpolicella, a rich, full bodied red famed for its production process. Corvina and Rondinella grapes are picked from the Valpolicella area and are left to dry for up to three months, leaving small but sweet wines. These are then pressed giving a much heavier wine that often surpasses 15% in alcohol. The best are great but there are plenty of pretenders.
It’s to the west of the region where there is plenty of value to be found. Bardolino in particular is a small red wine area on the edge of Lake Garda. Made from blending Corvina and Rondinella, it is a light and fruity wine that can provide plenty of exciting mineral quality.
White wines here generally come from the excellent Lugana DOC zone. Important names such as Zenato and Tomassi have invested here and the future looks very bight. The Turbiana grape variety produces tropical wines with interesting floral aromas. Custoza also offers great value white wines.
To the north of the region, around the town of Treviso, the rolling hills of the Prosecco growing area undulate their way towards the . The best Prosecco comes from the Cartizze hills, but there are a growing number of producers that are trying to create a more authentic Prosecco experience. Some are even producing a natural and unfiltered version.
Sometimes referred to simply as Custoza DOC, this small Venetian appellation produces white wines from both Trebbiano and Garganega.
Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco DOCG is the key appellation for premium Prosecco. Established in 2009, it delineates the original DOC territory, marking the area between the towns of Valdobbiadene in the west and Conegliano in the east. The hill of Cartizze is the most important site and produces wines labelled Superiore di Cartizze. The appellation’s Rive system has identified 43 distinctive vineyard plots that can be considered ‘cru’.
Gambellara is a small wine appellation in Veneto producing white still and sparkling wines from at least 80% Garganega.
Lessini Durello DOC is home to some increasingly popular traditional method sparkling wine. Known for its mineral driven, steely character, the wines are made exclusively from the Durella grape.
Lugana DOC is a white wine appellation situated around Lake Garda in the Italian region of Veneto. The growing area overlaps the regional border with Lombardy.
Recioto della Valpolicella is a recent appellation focussed on the recioto style of wine making, that of drying the grapes out on straw mats to increase the sugar ratio to water. The resulting wines are rich and sweet.
Recioto di Soave DOCG is primarily a sweet wine appellation in the Soave area of Veneto producing wines from at least 70% Garganega.
Soave is a white wine produced predominantly from Garganega. The best wines come from the ‘Classico’ area located in the hills to the east of the town of Soave in the Veneto.
Soave Superiore is a dry white DOCG wine made from Garganega and Trebbiano di Soave grown in the hills just north of the town of Soave in North East Italy. It builds on the previously established Soave DOC but introduces new criteria to help maintain quality.
Valpolicella is an important Venetian red wine. Made using a blend of Corvina, Mollinara, Corvinone and Rondinella, the wines are generally light and fruity with high acidity.
Valpolicella Ripasso is an alternative style to traditional Valpolicella. Made using a blend of Corvina, Mollinara, Corvinone and Rondinella, the wines are rich and fruity with high acidity.
Created in 2010, Venezia DOC is a relatively new appellation designed to showcase the winemaking territory in the immediate vicinity of Venice. Here, calcareous, clayey, loamy, and gravelly soils can impart distinctive characteristics to wines produced from Pinot Grigio, Chardonnay and Merlot.
Amarone della Valpolicella is one of the great wines of Italy. Produced using a portion of dried grapes, it is a rich, robust, full boded red.
The small DOC of Arcole produces white wines from Chardonnay and Pinot Grigio and reds from Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon.
Asolo Prosecco was created in 2009 as part of the wide scale changes to the structure of the Prosecco producing area. It can produce still and sparkling wines from a number of different grape varieties, notably from the local Glera.
Bagnoli Friularo is DOCG appellation established out of the territory of the existing Bagnoli di Sopra DOC in 2011 to showcase the characteristics of the the Raboso Piave grape.
Bardolino DOC is home to red wines produced just to the east of Lake Garda. Generally they are soft and fruity, although in recent years there is a big drive to return to the terroir driven wines that made the area famous in the 1970s and 80s.
Red wine appellation on the eastern shores of Lake Garda in Italy’s Veneto region. Once a source of uninspiring jug wines made for tourists, the area is once again focussing on interesting terroir driven expressions of the Corvina and Rondinella grapes.
Breganze is a red and white wine appellation in the Veneto. Established in 1969 it is one of the region’s classic still wine territories, but is also famed for the sweet delicacy of Torcolato. which is produced from 100% Vespaiola.
Ca’ dei Zago is a small family farm of 6.5 hectares in the Conegliano-Valdobbiadene appellation producing Prosecco wines in the traditional Col Fondo style. Christian and Marika represent the 5th generation of the Zago family to farm their vines. Today the approach is biodynamic.
Colli Berici is one of the Veneto’s up and coming areas for red wine production. Although quantity is low, there are some excellent wines to be found. Carménère in particular seems to be thriving.
Colli di Conegliano covers still red and white wines made in the rolling hills of Conegliano, best known for its Prosecco production. The first official vintage of the appellation was 2012 and the wines can be made with a large range of local and international grape varieties.
Colli Euganei DOC is home to distinctive volcanic terroir. Reds are often produced using blends of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc while whites can be made using a number of varieties including Chardonnay, Manzoni Bianco and Moscato Giallo.
Colli Euganei Fior d’Arancio DOCG produces dry and passito style wines from Moscato Giallo as well as sparkling wines.
Garda DOC covers wine making around Lake Garda in northern Italy. Technically the appellation straddles regional borders and so extends into Lombardy as well.
Lison is a premium white wine produced just outside the city of Venice. It must be produced from a minimum of 85% Friulano.
Lison-Pramaggiore is a DOC production area located to the North East of Venice. It was created in 1974 and today allows for white and red wines from a number of international grapes as well as Verduzzo and Refosco. The white Friulano for which the area was celebrated is best enjoyed through the breakaway Lison DOCG appellation.
Malanotte del Piave was granted DOCG status in 2010 after breaking away from the Piave DOC and today represents the best expressions of the red Raboso grape. At least 15% of the wine must undergo appassimento, and maturation must take place over at least three years before release.
The small appellation of Merlara is fairly general, allowing for the production oif wines from many different red and white grape varieties grown around the town of Merlara in the Province of Padova. The most obvious reference is Azienda Agricola Ponte al Masero.
Montello DOCG, or more specifically Montello Rosso DOCG was created in 2011 when the wines of the Montello e Colli Asolani DOC went alone. Produced from Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Carmenère, these wines can be interesting, although there is not much of it and it’s not easy to find.
Montello-Colli Asolani DOC is a relatively old appellation, created in 1977, for white and red wines made in the hills around Montello and Asolani. A range of different grape varieties can be cultivated, and although producer preference is for still wines, traditional method sparkling wines can also be made from Chardonnay and, or Pinot Bianco.
Monti Lessini DOC covers still wine production in the area known for Lessini Durello DOC sparkling wines.
Piave DOC was created in 1971 for wines produced around the Venetian town of Piave. The best wines from the local red grape Raboso Piave are now bottled under the DOCG Malanotte del Piave appellation, so the majority of Piave wines are now made from a combination of international grapes and other local names such as Verduzzo, Manzoni Bianco, Raboso Veronese.
Prosecco is one of the most famous sparkling wines in the world and can be found at various levels of quality. In general terms, the more serious wines are often found in the villages of Conegliano and Valdobbiadene while the more inexpensive wines are produced on the plains for Veneto and are bottled simply as Prosecco. The wines are light and crisp and range from dry to off dry.
Recioto di Gambellara is a sweet ‘passito’ style wine made from dried grapes grown around the town of Gambellara in north east Italy.
Trevenezie includes the three regions of Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Trentino-Alto Adige and Veneto. It was established in 1995 as ‘delle Venezie’, but once Venezia claimed its own DOC status in 2017, it has been reintroduced as Trevenezie.
Veneto IGP is a catch all regional appellation for wines made in North West Italy’s Veneto region.
Verona IGP, sometimes referenced as Provincia di Verona IGP or in the case of Allegrini’s famous Palazzo del Torre, Veronese IGP, this catch all appellation covers a plethora of grapes and styles.
Vigneti della Serenissima DOC, sometimes shortened to Serenissima DOC is tiny little appellation established in 2011. There is not currently any production here. In theory however it can produce sparkling wines from either Chardonnay, Pinot Bianco and / or Pinot Nero.