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wine tasting tours and winery visits

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Best wine tours in Veneto

Why Visit Veneto?

Visiting Veneto presents a host of opportunities for wine tours! The Veneto is the most prolific winemaking region in Italy, famous for a whole host of prestigious wines from Valpolicella and Amarone red wines and the delicate whites of Soave to global sparkling wine sensation Prosecco, alongside huge quantities of easy-drinking Pinot Grigio. In this region alone, there are an amazing 28 DOC areas and 14 DOCG areas (DOCG is the very highest classification of quality given to wine region in Italy).

Most wine areas are easily reached on a day trip from Venice, Verona or Padova - one of the best ways to experience the incredibly diverse wines of the region is to hire a car or take a tour for a few days to meander through the wonderful countryside. Don't miss the chance to take a diversion down the Prosecco road, the very first wine road in Italy. Created in 1969, the route is situated north of Venice, in between the two towns of Conegliano and Valdobbiadene - the Conegliano Valdobbiadene DOCG region produces the best Prosecco in all of Italy, and the dramatic hills of the Cartizze and Rive areas in the foothills of the Dolomites are a wonderful sight to behold.  Not far from Valdobbiadene are the gentle Asolo hills, where you can find the Asolo DOCG Prosecco. The town of Asolo itself is a pretty, romantic destination which inspired poet Robert Browning to compose a collection of poems entitled 'Asolando'.

Next, head west in search of Valpolicella. Wine here has been produced as far back as Roman times and it was the Romans who gave this place its name, which means 'the valley of many cellars'. The valley in question is home to five pretty little towns (Fumane, San Pietro in Cariano, Sant'Ambrogio Della Valpolicella, Mariano della Valpolicella and Negrar) west of Verona where the high-quality Valpolicella Classico DOC is produced. Look out also for Amarone and Recioto, styles distinctive to the region made in fascinating ways - it is well worth a visit to a winery with a tour and tasting to see fascinating processes such as the Ripasso method in action.

Once you've had your fill of reds and sparkling wines, don't miss the Soave area, east of Verona. The beautiful Soave castle built in 1300, is a must-see - the ancient medieval hilltop fortress with its huge walls dominates the the town of Soave, and it's well worth a visit to discover the amazing history of the castle and the refreshing white wines made here.

Once you've discovered all the vinous delights of the Veneto, there is still plenty left to do. Don't forget to visit the Dolomites, the beautiful mountain range just a couple of hours from Venice or Verona. They are a UNESCO Natural Site due to their ancient beauty and breath-taking views - the most renowned town is Cortina d'Ampezzo, which provides a tranquil base from which to go skiing in winter or hiking in summer. Also don't miss the famous Palladian villas, with their wonderful unique architecture which has seen them designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site (Italy is full of them!) The villas are scattered all over Veneto but most of them are found in the two provinces of Treviso and Verona. Finally, Lake Garda is a great base for exploring the wine regions of the Veneto, as well as rest and relaxation in beautiful accommodation next to the soothing water - why not end your trip to the Veneto with a few days staying, sailing and sunbathing on the shores of this most famous of lakes.


Plan Your Visit

Best Known Grapes

Where to start! The huge variety of winemaking areas mean that there is an even more enormous number of grape varieties grown here. In Prosecco, the main grape is Glera, the best examples of which grow on the dizzying inclines of the hills of the Conegliano-Valdobbiadene DOCG. Corvina is used in the production of Valpolicella,with some inclusion of Molinara and Rondinella, although this is generally in lesser-quality wines. Soave, meanwhile, uses Garganega as its white grape of choice, and prolific Pinot Grigio is also grown in various parts of the region. As with most other major wine destinations, there are usually some international grapes such as Merlot and Chardonnay to be found, but the Veneto certainly has enough local and indigenous varieties!
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Best time to visit

This region can be visited all year round.  Spring and autumn  are the best times to see the vines in all their glory, and as with any wine region, the harvest season (September-October) sees the wineries transform into excited hives of activity, with tiny tractors bearing their loads of freshly-picked grapes around every corner. Do bear in mind that this is the busiest time of year for many, though, and so do check with wineries in advance before you pay them a visit! Be aware that in the first week of April (during VinItaly, the biggest wine fair in Italy) smaller wineries might be closed due to lack of staff as everyone heads off to join the festivities!
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How long to stay

The Veneto is best enjoyed over the course of a week, with a day or two exploring the cities of Venice and Verona before heading out to wine country and ending with a relaxing sojourn on the shores of Lake Garda.

How to get there

Venice and Verona both have well-connected airports and can be reached from most major destinations in Europe within a few hours. Train links are also very good between other major Italian cities such as Rome and Florence.
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