There is a region in Italy where Spring begins before the traditional day of 21st of March. It’s the eastern part of Veneto where the Prosecco denomination runs around the villages of Conegliano and Valdobbiadene, 50 km from Venice, on the hills north of the city of Treviso.
Prosecco wine is also made in Friuli Venezia Giulia region, but you can find the authentic Prosecco Superiore Conegliano Valdobbiadene DOCG only in this area, where the production zone comprises fifteen communes and stretches over around 20,000 hectares. Vines are grown only on the sunniest parts of the hills, at altitudes varying between 50 and 500 meters above sea level; the north-facing slopes are covered mainly in woodland.
If you have never been in this region, the experience of Primavera del Prosecco Superiore is a great opportunity to discover it. From March to May there is a busy schedule of shows, sport, culture, food and tastings basically everywhere. Conegliano Valdobbiadene is not the only Prosecco DOCG, though: there is another one, maybe less renowned abroad, but equally important: Asolo Prosecco. The name comes from a small town, Asolo, in the province of Treviso, not far from Venice. It’s called “the town with a hundred horizons” for its privileged position. Asolo has been inhabited since pre-historic times, and has a treasure of old ruins, artistic churches and sumptuous manors.
Not to be missed is the Rocca, the colossal monument on the top of Mount Ricco. There is also the very old Cathedral and the many beautiful residences of famous artists and famous figures of the past. The actress Eleonora Duse, the writer and photographer Freya Stark and Caterina Cornaro, Queen of Cyprus, Armenia and Jerusalem all spent time in the town and the memory of these important women is still preserved in the town. The best way to discover Asolo though is “asolando”, which means “strolling along its streets”. Allow the flavours in the air to guide you into some typical hostarias and cafès, where you can taste the local cicchetti (delicious appetizers) with a glass of local wine of Merlot, Cabernet or Prosecco.
In this area, which extends to the northwest of Treviso along the first stretch of foothills, many other wines are also produced, both with international grapes; Cabernet, Merlot, Chardonnay, Carmenere, and Cabernet Franc and local varieties; Bianchetta and Incrocio Manzoni Bianco. To really get to know Asolo Prosecco DOCG, there is nothing better than visiting a winery.
A good place to start would be Bele Casel. This is a small family-run winery which produces organic wine, both red, a Merlot and white, Prosecco. Their most celebrated wine is a particular kind of Prosecco, adored by the wine lovers, the “ColFondo”, which means it has been produced “sur lie”. The focus of the winery is on the happiness of their customers, both those ones who simply buy and drink their wines and those ones who go to visit them; the experience is welcoming and friendly. The aim is to enable visitors to get a taste of the passion for the organic wine world.
The Conte Loredan Gasparini in Venegazzu is a renowned winery which is part of the tradition of this area. Its origins go back 50 years, when the Count Piero Loredan, a descendant of the Venetian Doge Leonardo Loredan, founded his farm and planted vines to produce highly-esteemed quality varietal wines. Nowadays, their leading wine is the red blend, “Capo di Stato” IGT Colli Trevigiani. The wine is considered legendary, given its inclusion in the French publication “100 vins de légende” as one of the best 100 wines in the world.
The last winery we suggest to visit also has a beautiful manor within its estate. The Villa di Maser is also called Villa Barbaro and is one of the greatest masterpieces of Andrea Palladio. It is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site, located in the heart of the Montello and Colli Asolani denomination. Its historic winery produces wines of great quality from Merlot, Cabernet, Chardonnay Prosecco and Verduzzo. Apart from tasting all of their fabulous wines, the Villa Maser hosts often concerts, art shows and other cultural events, following the Venetian tradition of a taste for the arts.
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