Veneto

Regional detail

Location

Biggest producing region in Northern Italy and biggest producer of DOC wines in Italy. Home to many international varieties as well as native. The centre for the more famous negociant houses and very commercial/ eager bottlers. Stretching from the Garda Lake to Venice and north to the foothills of the Alps giving a tremendous array of wines both red and white, sparkling and sweet, not to mention, Grappa.

Climate

Inland areas becoming increasing continental than Mediterranean, with harsh, cold winters and hot, dry summers. The Veneto is heavily influenced by local geographical features such as the sea, lakes, rivers, mountains and plains, changing radically the mesoclimates of the immediate vineyard area and hence determining the variety, style and quality.Towards the sea and on the plain the hot summers and freezing foggy winters create perfect conditions for one of most productive, volume areas of wine in Italy and Europe but alas lacking the character that is quintessentially Italian

Topography

One of the most varied regions in all of Italy affecting the local vineyard areas and DOCs. The most important difference on quality is the dramatic contrast from the rich, fertile and extensive floodplains of the Po and the hills of the PreAlps. The quality obviously coming from the latter. All producers are proud to announce if their fruit comes from the "collina". In Prosecco land, (which is now an area and NOT the grape!), the new DOCG area is on very distinct pinnacle shaped hills and the DOC fruit is mainly from the plain. Lake Garda is also very influential on the DOCs in the west of the region especially for the whites around the lake and the reds of Bardolino and the Valpolicella Classico DOCs.

Soils

Different geological époques have created very mixed soils that change dramatically within short distances. At one geological age the area was submerged by an ancient sea and hence vast tracts of calcarous and other sedimentary rocks. Subsequent volcanic activity has overlain this rock with basalt and other rocks affected by volcanic activity. The famous Toar soils from the Valpolicella areas are rich in Basalt and Potassium. The subsequent tectonic upheveals and iceages have then mixed up these various strata, scattering the distribution over a wide and irregular area. The Garda lake is essentially iceage feature gauged out by glaciers, its banks being made of dumped glacial material.

Average annual production

8.003.000 HL
Veneto Placeholder
Veneto

Grapes

Corvina

Description

Characterised by an aromatic fruitiness, high total acidity and low phenolic content, being poor in both tannins and pigments but when grown on the local toar soils (a volcanic soil rich in minerals, basalt, potassium and magnesium) can achieve good aromatics. When grown on the more common hillside calcareous fossil rich soils of the hillside, can produce good complexity and substance. The plains usually produce wines of little interest. Usually trained on the Pergola Veronese (distinct from the Pergola Trentino – the former being high with a horizontal arm), used because it doesn't fruit on the first few buds of the cane and needs a long arm. However, spalliere is being much more common. A relatively later ripener with thickish skin making it resistant to rot during drying or appassimento .

Principle Wines

Mostly found in the Valpolicella/ Amarone/ Recioto blend, although also found in a variety of IGT blends Rosso Veronese and nowadays some varietal versions
corvina grape
Corvinone

Description

Most growers nowadays consider it distinct from Corvina, being bigger, deeper colour, higher tannin and sugar levels. Although there still many plants mixed in wth Corvina and called Corvina.

Principle Wines

Mostly found in the Valpolicella/ Amarone/ Recioto blend, although also found in a variety of IGT blends Rosso Veronese
corvinone grape
Dindarella

Description

One of the blue local grapes found in the Valpolicella-area in Veneto. Allowed in used in small quantities in the blend. Aka. Pelara. Has nothing to do with Maculans wine named Dindarello

Principle Wines

Rare but found in Valpol blend
dindarella grape
Durello

Description

Simiar in appearance to Prosecco – vigorous white grape grown mostly in the Gambellara area of the Veneto, near to the east of Soave. Used also for spumante for local consumption

Principle Wines

Monte Lessini
durello grape
Garganega

Description

Prolific – Italy's fifth most planted white variety also found outside the Veneto. Vigorous requiring the typical Veneto "long arm" style of training (like its red counterpart, Corvina). It is THE quality white grape of the Veneto even though it is over produced, making millions of HL of plonk, as well. It may have some relation to Grecanico.

Principle Wines

Soave
garganega grape
Incrocio Manzoni

Description

A cross between Riesling Renano and Pinot Bianco, developed by the professor Giovanni Manzoni at the Istituto Sperimentale per la Viticultura in Conegliano. A white grape becoming more and more present in blended whites of the Northern Veneto.

Principle Wines

Blends of Bianco Veneto igt
Molinara

Description

Unfashionable nowadays, favored by growers in the past wishing to bulk out there wine rather than seek concentration in their Valpol blend.

Principle Wines

Mostly found in the Valpolicella/ Amarone/ Recioto blend although becoming less frequent.
molinara grape
Oseleta

Description

Old local blue grape from the Valpolicella, which was close to extinction when Masi started to invest in it. It is the main-grape in one of their top wines; the Osar. Gives very low yields of high quality.

Principle Wines

Valpol blend
oseleta grape
Rondinella

Description

Most robust and reliable than Corvina but much less aromatic and juicy. Some growers consider it a workhorse. Its small berries lend themselves well to drying/ appassimento

Principle Wines

Mostly found in the Valpolicella/ Amarone/ Recioto blend
rondinella grape
Rossignola

Description

Blue blending-grape allowed in the Bardolino DOC and Bardolino Superiore DOCG. Also allowed in Valpolicella DOC, but not mentioned here in the appelation-laws. The grapes is also found under the name of Rosetta. According to some sources the grape is identical to the gropello, but I found no official sources claiming this

Principle Wines

Valpol and Bardolino blends
rossignola grape
Tocai Italico/ Tai

Description

aka Tocai Friulano when grown in Friuli. And Tocai Bianco when grown in Breganze although there is some debate and hence clones may be very different..

Principle Wines

Colli Berici and Breganza
tocai-rosso grape
Tocai Rosso/ Tai Rosso

Description

some say related to Grenache Cannonau but the style of the wine, somewhat light, qualffing red, may indicate a different story.

Principle Wines

Colli Berici and Breganza
tocai grape
Vespaiolo

Description

Not to be confused with Vespolina in Piemonte. So called because wasps are drawn to it during vintage time (Vespa = wasp). Confined to the Breganze area Veneto this ancient variety used to be much more widespread. Produces a light, acidic wine of little structure but some character. Can make decent low cost spumante and sweet wines of some fame

Principle Wines

Breganze , Torcolato
vespaiolo grape

Major Appellations DOCG/DOC

Bardolino DOC

Description

Grapes grown on lighter, more pebbly soils give inherent character of Bardolino that distinguishes itself from Valpolicella even the the blend may be the same. On the shores of Lake Garda there is a tradition to produce a lighter style of wine of little structre with a tradition of not drying grapes. Chiaretto is also a tradition which is their Rose of the same grape blend..

Principle Wines

Corvina Veronese, Rondinella, Molinara, Negrara, Rossignola, Barbera, Sangiovese, Garganega
Bardolino Superiore DOCG

Description

This more structured wine can be an intensely fruity experience with more alcohol and lengthier palate than its lighter cousin, the normale.

Principle Wines

Corvina Veronese, Rondinella, Molinara, Rossignola, Barbera, Sangiovese, Marzemino, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon
Bianco di Custoza DOC

Description

fresh, uncompliated white with good minerality and vineyards influenced by the waters of Lake Garda around the town of Custoza, to its south eastern end. Similar to Lugana but technically Lugana is in Lombardy and no Veneto

Principle Wines

Trebbiano toscano, Garganega, Tai, Bianca Fernanda, Riesling Italico, Pinot Bianco, Chardonnay, Malvasia
Breganze DOC ( a multi DOC*)

Description

Bianco – Tocai Friulano based Rosso – Merlot Based Frizzante – Vespaiola Torcolato - White, Sweet, Aged 24 months from Vespaiola Varietal - Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Marzemino, Pinot Bianco, Pinot Grigio, Pinot Nero, Sauvignon

Principle Wines

Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, , Marzemino, Pinot Nero, Tai Bianco, Chardonnay, Pinot Bianco, Pinot Grigio, Sauvignon, Vespaiola
Colli Berici DOC ( a multi DOC*)

Description

Spumante - Garganega, Pinot Bianco, Pinot Grigio, Chardonnay, Sauvignon. Varietal - Cabernet, Chardonnay, Garganega, Merlot, Pinot Bianco, Sauvignon, Tocai Italico, Tocai Rosso. Tocai Rosso – up to 15% Garganega

Principle Wines

Garganega, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Trebbiano di Soave, Tocai Italico aka Tai, Sauvignon Garganega, Pinot Bianco, Pinot Grigio, Chardonnay, Pinot Bianco, Tocai Rosso
Colli Euganei DOC ( a multi DOC*)

Description

Bianco - Garganega, Prosecco, Tai, Sauvignon, Pinello, Chardonnay, Pinot Bianco, Riesling Italico Rosso – Merlot, Cabernet Franc Cabernet Sauvignon, Barbera, Raboso Veronese Varietal Cabernet, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Merlot, Pinot Bianco Fior d'Arancio is a dessert wine made from drying Muscat grapes and then ageing in barrel for 12 Months. Other passitos and spumantes are made from Muscat Frizzante - Pinello is a white variety making Frizzante Serprino – very similar to Prosecco in style and charcter making both Frizzante and still versions

Principle Wines

Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Barbera, Raboso Veronese, Cabernet, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Merlot, Pinot Bianco Garganega, Prosecco, Tocai Friulano, Sauvignon, Pinello, Chardonnay, Pinot Bianco, Riesling Italico Moscato giallo, Moscato Bianco Serprino
Garda DOC ( a multi DOC*)

Description

Bianco Classico - Riesling and/or Riesling italico Rosso Classico - Groppello, Marzemino, Sangiovese, Barbera Chiaretto Classico - Groppello, Marzemino, Sangiovese, Barbera Varietal - Barbera, Cabernet, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Merlot, Pinot Nero, Riesling, Sauvignon Frizzante - Garganega and/or Chardonnay

Principle Wines

Riesling, Riesling Italico, Groppello, Marzemino, Sangiovese, Barbera, Cabernet, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Merlot, Pinot Nero, Sauvignon
Lugana DOC

Description

Fresh and clean white very similar to Soave and Soave classico in style. Perhaps a little less intense and does not quite reach the top end of quality styles

Principle Wines

Trebbiano di Lugana
Prosecco DOC

Description

This is a new DOC area and not to be confused with the old, more restrictive DOC area which has now been elevated to DOCG status, encompassing the 2 regions of Friuli and Veneto.

Principle Wines

Prosecco, Verdisio, Bianchetta, Perera and/or Prosecco Lungo
Prosecco di Conegliano-Valdobbiadene DOCG

Description

The much hyped new DOCG area is basically the old DOC. Only DOCG Prosecco can use the names Conegliano and Valdobbiadene.

Principle Wines

Prosecco, Verdisio, Bianchetta, Perera, Prosecco lungo
Recioto di Soave DOCG

Description

One of the great dessert wines of the world. White grapes are dried for a few months weeks to months and are then pressed releasing a sweet intense liquid which is ten aged in oak.

Principle Wines

Garganega, 70%; Pinot Bianco, Chardonnay, Trebbiano di Soave, all subjected to light drying
Soave Classico DOC

Description

Usually a step up in quality from Soave and hence a different price tag. The fruit comes from the various crus from the vineyards around the communes of Soave and Monteforte. Includes some of Italy's top whites and top white wine producers.

Principle Wines

Garganega, Pinot Bianco, Chardonnay, Trebbiano di Soave
Soave DOC

Description

Comes in various guises according to the producer which can be a very simple quaffing white to a more ambitious affair with structure and wood influence

Principle Wines

Garganega, Pinot bianco, Chardonnay, Trebbiano di Soave.
Soave Superiore DOCG

Description

The aim is to produce the quality Soave but it is still early days to judge its accomplishments. 10 months before release and 24 months for the riserva, yields are also down to not more than 70 Hl/Ha. Permitted Grapes

Principle Wines

Garganega, Pinot Bianco, Chardonnay, Trebbiano di Soave
Valdadige DOC ( a multi DOC*)

Description

Bianco - Trebbiano Toscano, Nosiola, Sauvignon, Garganega, Pinot Bianco, Pinot Grigio, Riesling Italico, Chardonnay, Müller Thurgau Rosso - Lambrusco a Foglia Frastagliata (Enantio), Schiava, Merlot, Pinot Nero, Lagrein, Teroldego, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Varietal – Chardonnay, Pinot Bianco, Pinot Grigio, Schiava Terra dei Forti Rosso Superiore – Merlot, Lambrusco a Foglia Frastagliata (Enantio) Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Lagrein, Teroldego Frizzante – Chardonnay, Pinot Bianco, Pinot Grigio

Principle Wines

Trebbiano Toscano, Nosiola, Sauvignon, Garganega, Pinot Bianco, Pinot Grigio, Riesling Italico, Chardonnay, Müller Thurgau, Schiava, Pinot Nero, Merlot, Lambrusco a foglia frastagliata aka Enantio, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Lagrein, Teroldego.
Valdadige Terradeiforti DOC

Description

Varietal - Casetta (red dry wine), Enantio (aka Lambrusco a foglia frastagliata), Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio Passito - mostly from Chardonnnay

Principle Wines

Enantio, Casetta, Pinot Grigio and Chardonnay
Valpolicella Classico DOC

Description

Before the Valpolicella Classico area was extended in 1968 to to exploit the commercial properties of the name, this was the original area based on the five communes below. This is supposedly the heart of quality winemaking and vine production although there do exist some outstanding producers out the area. For the various style please see Valpolicella Normale. Negrar – is the largest of the Classico communes and the so called centre around which the other communes of the whole Valpolicella DOC function. However, it is the furthest east of the Classico communes. Cru sites include: Alga, Mazzano, Torbe, Villa, Pojega, Cer, Le Ragose, Crosara, Moron, Calcarole and San Peretto. Marano – about half the size of Negrar and the most northerly. Cru sites include: Gaso, Masua, Gnirega and Fasanara. Many of the top Marano estates are found around Valgarata. Fumane - Both flanks of the valley of Fumane offer cru sites with excellent conditions; on one side, S. Urbano, Comunai, Creari and Fieramonte, and on the opposite slopes Valalta, Palazzo della Torre, Carpan and Ca' Carnocchio. Sant'Ambrogio - The famous historic cru of Gargagnago and La Grola, situated on Monte Poja, are located here. S. Pietro in Cariano - San Floriano, Pedemonte and Castelrotto.

Principle Wines

Corvina Veronese, Rondinella, Molinara, Barbera, Negrara Trentina, Rossignola, Sangiovese.
Valpolicella DOC

Description

This historic winegrowing region celebrated by the Romans, has a patchy reputation for making some of the world’s greatest wines and vast quantites of mediocre plonk. The word has three roots – Val – Valley; Poli – many; Cella – cellar and means “the land of the many wineries.” The soils, a mixture of Toar (volcanic in origin, basalt and potassium) and calcareous (rich in fossils) can produce excellent character although most fruit comes from the fluvial plains. The climate is regulated by the vast body of water – Garda, making the growing season long and winters milder. Valpolicella – so called normale. Outside the classico zone or declassed from within, using the Valpolicella blend of grapes. Usually, oceans of mediocre quaffing with a modest reputation which is sourced from fruit coming from the plains. However, there are some exceptions on the hillsides to the East of Verona towards Soave, especially from the commune of Illasi. Valpolicella Superiore – aged for at least 14 months before release Style Here, perhaps more than anywhere, does this word take on more significance than in any other vinous context. Apart from the basic Valpolicella and superiore versions there are also the following: Ripasso – normal Valpolicella wine is passed back over the Amarone/ Recioto lees some time after the 1st fermentation. This gives it a boost in glycerol and alcohol giving much more structure, body and texture to normal Valpolicella/ Classico/Valpantena. After many abuses of the term there are now laws protecting its typicity whereby a producer must have produced a certain quantity of Amarone/ Recioto to produce a certain quantity of ripasso. Recioto – one of the great dessert wines of the world – a bitter, sweet red, similar in style to port but being a pure wine with no fortification through a unique method. Perfect bunches are carefully placed on shallow crates ensuring the correct humidity and flow of air therefore preventing grey rot, although accepting noble rot. In mid winter the bunched are pressed and fermentation begins (very reluctantly due to very low temperatures and high levels of sugar) producing a very small amount of lush sweet wine which may take years to achieve stabilty. Amarone – the full, dry version of Recioto. Some say a recent post war discovery, but when fermentation is allowed to proceed Amarone is the result. A very difficult wine to make with high levels of alcohol, volatile acidity and oxidation but a truly great wine of the world.

Principle Wines

Corvina Veronese, Rondinella, Molinara, Barbera, Negrara Trentina, Rossignola, Sangiovese.
Valpolicella Valpatena DOC

Description

Very similar to the normale and classico zones in style, this is really a subzone of Valpolicella rather than a separate DOC with all the styles: normale, superiore, Amarone and Recioto. It comprises in whole or part the villages of Quinto Valpantena, S.Maria in Stelle, Grezzana, Alcenago, Azzago, Romagnano, Rosaro and Stallavena.

Principle Wines

Corvina Veronese, Rondinella, Molinara, Barbera, Negrara Trentina, Rossignola, Sangiovese.
Vicenza DOC (a multi DOC*)

Description

Bianco - Blend of above white grapes Rosso - Blend of above Red grapes Rosato - dry and sweet versions – same grapes as rosso Varietal - Cabernet, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Garganego, Manzoni Bianco, Merlot, Moscato, Pinot Bianco, Pinot Nero, Raboso, Riesling, Sauvignon Frizzante - Rosé, Dry Frizzante - Rosé, Sweet Riserva - Red, Dry, Aged 24 months

Principle Wines

Cabernet, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Garganego, Manzoni Bianco, Merlot, Moscato, Pinot Bianco, Pinot Nero, Raboso, Riesling, Sauvignon
Vini del Piave or Piave DOC (a multi DOC*)

Description

Varietal - Cabernet, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Merlot, Pinot Bianco, Pinot Grigio, Pinot Nero, Raboso, Tocai Italico, Verduzzo

Principle Wines

Cabernet, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Merlot, Pinot Bianco, Pinot Grigio, Pinot Nero, Raboso, Tocai Italico, Verduzzo

Minor Appellations DOGC/DOC

Arcole DOC (a multi DOC*)
Rosso
- a blend of merlot and other Veronese grape
Bianco
- a blend of Garnega and other Veronese grapes
Varietal
- Cabernet, Cabernet Sauvignon, Carmenere, Chardonnay, Garganega, Merlot, Pinot Bianco, Pinot Grigio, Sauvignon
Bagnoli di Sopra or Bagnoli DOC (*a multi DOC)
Rosso
- Cabernet franc and/or Cabernet sauvignon and/or Carmenere, Raboso Piave, Raboso Veronese, Merlot
Bianco
- Chardonnay, Sauvignon, Tai, Raboso Piave, Raboso Veronese
Varietal
- Cabernet, Friulano, Merlot
Colli di Conegliano DOC
Bianco
- Prosecco, Verdisio, Bianchetta, Perera, Prosecco lungo, Pinot bianco, Pinot grigio, Pinot nero, Chardonnay.
Refrontolo Passito,
Torchiato di Fregona
Corti Benedettine del Padovano DOC (a multi DOC*)
Bianco
- Tocai friulano, Pinot bianco, Pinot grigio, Chardonnay, Sauvignon,
Rosso
- Merlot, Raboso Piave /Veronese
Passito
- Moscato Giallo, Pinot bianco, Pinot grigio, Chardonnay, Sauvignon.
Varietal
- Cabernet, Raboso, Merlot, Chardonnay, Pinot Bianco, Pinot Grigio, Refoscolo dal Penducolo Rosso, Sauvignon
Gambellara DOC
garganega for both dry, recioto and vin santo
Lison-Pramaggiore DOC (a multi DOC*)
Cabernet, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Malbec. Merlot, Pinot Bianco, Pinot Grigio,Refosco dal Penducolo, Riesling, Riesling Italico, Sauvignon, Tai or Lison, Verduzzo.
Merlara DOC (a multi DOC*)
Rosso
- 70% Merlot
Bianco
- Tocai Friulano
Varietal
- Cabernet, Cabernet Sauvignon, Malvasia, Marzemino, Tocai
Montello e Colli Asolani DOC
Rosso
- Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon
Varietal
- Cabernet, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Bianco, Pinot Grigio
Monti Lessini or Lessini DOC
Rosso
- Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon
Bianco
- Pinot bianco, Pinot grigio, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Durello
Riviera del Brenta DOC
Bianco
- Tocai friulano, Pinot bianco, Pinot grigio, Chardonnay,
Rosso
- Merlot, Raboso Piave /Veronese, Refosco dal Penducolo
Varietal
- Cabernet, Cabernet Sauvignon, Raboso, Refosco dal Penducolo, : Pinot bianco, Pinot grigio, Chardonnay
San Martino della Battaglia DOC
Tai

IGT Appellations

Alto Livenza
Colli Trevigiani
Conselvano
Delle Venezie
Marca Trevigiana
Provincia di Verona or Veronese
Vallagarina
Veneto
Veneto orientale
Vigneti delle Dolomiti