Veneto is a wine region in northeastern Italy and is one of three highly productive Italian regions known collectively as the Tre Venezie (after the Venetian Republic). The Tre Venezie includes the regions of Friuli Venezia-Giulia, Alto Adige and Trentino, and Veneto. The Tre Venezie collectively produces more red wine than white, but the Veneto region produces more white DOC designated wines and is home to the famous Soave and Prosecco wines.
The Alps protect the region from the harsh northern European climate. The Veneto can be split into two distinct wine areas including one in the East and in the West. The eastern area is not far from Venice, extending from the hills of Treviso to the Adriatic and it produces the well-known Prosecco along with many other varietals. The western area is not far from Lake Garda and the city of Verona and is well-known for wines based on the varietals Corvina, Rondinella,, Garganega, Trebbiano of Soave, and Oseleta.
The winemaking in the central part of the Veneto transitions between the varieties and styles of the East and West. Here you will find the Colli Euganei, the hills close to Padua, where there is a special Mediterranean microclimatic zone. This area is famous for the Moscato fior d’arancio production, a sparkling dessert wine.
The vine training system used in the eastern part of the Veneto is the Guyot system, while the more traditional the Pergola system is used in the western Veneto. Veneto’s growers use modern growing methods and systems in the vineyard and for wine making. While most of the ‘classic’ wines from this area are based on native grape varieties, like Glera (formerly known as Prosecco) and Verduzzo, the region’s producers also experiment with Cabernets, Chardonnay and Pinot and other varietals. One of Italy’s leading wine schools, Conegliano, is based here and the nation’s most important wine fair, Vinitaly, takes place each spring in Verona.
Common Grape Varieties of the Veneto include the following:
Garganega: The primary grape used to make Soave, produces crisp, dry white wines with flinty aromas and flavors of citrus, honey and almond.
Glera: Formally known as “Prosecco,” Glera is used to produce Prosecco DOC and DOCG still and sparkling wines..
Pinot Grigio: Pinot Grigio represents one of Italy’s largest exports. Trebbiano di Soave: this white grape is used in smaller percentages in Soave wines.
Amarone/Valpolicella blend (Corvina, Rondinella and Molinara): These are the mainl indigenous grapes used in Valpolicella reds including Amarone, Ripasso and Recioto dessert wine. They have large berries and thick skins needed to withstand the drying process used to create the wines (appassimento)
Oseleta: “Little bird” takes its name for its small berry size. This structured red grape is creating great interest among winemakers and is often included in Amarone.