Whether it is Romeo and Juliet in beautiful Verona, gondolas under the Rialto bridge in Venice, sunny Lake Garda or the beauty of Cortina, “queen of the dolomites”, almost everyone has an image of Veneto in their mind. Most of us also have a taste for its many wines. From “queen” Prosecco, Bardolino, Valpolicella, Soave to the “king”, Amarone, Veneto is home to some of the best-known Italian wines. Veneto has almost every geographic feature you could wish for: lakes, rivers, mountains, hills, extinguished volcanos, lagoons, a major river delta and some of the most spectacular mountains in the world. It has many stunning villages and beautiful historic towns, such as Verona, Bassano, Vicenza, Padova, Treviso, and above all, Venice. While large parts of Italy were under Spanish rule for centuries, with strict religious-political control of people’s “thinking”, Veneto was largely controlled by the Republic of Venice and later by Austria and benefitted from this more liberal, open-minded rule that allowed for many different expressions – also in winemaking traditions.
We have visited this fantastic region many times, and we know that it has an overwhelming variety of wines to offer. The climate is influenced by the proximity to the mountains in the North, the Adriatic sea in the South and East, and Lake Garda in the West. In Veneto there are many different terroirs, with not only great wines, but also some of the most refined olive oil. It will take some travelling for us to explore it all! Thus, we decided to start with its most famous red wine region, Valpolicella.
The concept of “terroir” is wonderfully expressed in this area. It has everything it takes for unique wines: steep hillsides, dry, stony, varied soil, warm sunny summers and cold winters. Nearby Lake Garda mitigates the cold winter days with its soothing, warming breezes.