You don't have to be a wine connoisseur to have enjoyed Soave, a popular white wine, and Valpolicella, a red.
Famous around the world, Soave and Valpolicella are both DOC classified. They both come from a highly prolific region in Italy, Veneto, a small northeastern region that contains the legendary canal city, Venice, and the Adriatic Coast. It may be smaller than other wine producing regions—but it's mighty.
More wine is produced in Veneto than any other region in Italy, although Tuscany gets all the attention.
A Climate that's Good for Many Varieties
The climate and unique geography of Veneto with the Alps in the north and the Adriatic Coast and river valleys in the south combine to produce a unique blend of wine varieties. Veneto has standard reds and whites, but also three red varietals, Cabernet Sauvigon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot, and two whites, Pinot Grigio and Chardonnay, that are frequently exported to compete with other international varieties.
The northern regions of Veneto tend to be much cooler because of the Alps, perfect for lighter wines like the whites that have become a hallmark worldwide of Veneto and make up 55 percent of its production.
The areas closer to the Adriatic are warmer, making conditions ideal for growing red wines.
Soave is made from the Garganega and Trebbiano grapes that are grown in the hills surrounding Verona. The wine contains a high level of acidity, a crisp, fruity finish and a low alcohol level. Try it with a local Venetian dish called Pollo alla Veneziana, chicken breast stuffed with curd cheese, breadcrumbs and pesto. Seafood is a great pairing with a Soave.
Valpolicella is justifiably famous as well. One of the six wines we suggest you try, Le Salette La Marega Amarone della Valpolicella Classico, has a unique taste—dark cherry, chocolate and a savory type of meat flavor, and a high alcohol content. Wine is one of the highlights of many travelers' itineraries.
Delicious for Dinner, Dessert or by Itself
Most Valpolicella wines contain an aroma of fruits like blueberry and banana, and are sweeter than other Italian reds. They are fruity and tangy—perfect for a hot and sunny Venetian summer afternoon. Valpolicella is a blend of Corvina, Rondinella and Molinara grapes, creating a rich and strong red wine taste, as well as a distinctive sour cherry aftertaste.
There is also a wine called Recioto della Valpolicella that contains a sweeter aroma than many other Valpolicella varieties, making it the perfect dessert wine. Try this variety of Valpolicella with dark chocolate to really bring out the unique taste of the wine, and complement the chocolate.
Another famous Veneto wine is the white Prosecco, which is easy to find in American stores. Made from Glina grapes, most of these are sparkling and similar to champagne. It's less expensive, however, because its fermentation process is simpler, which makes it a great alternative to champagne in cocktails such as Mimosas.
Lacking the characteristic yeasty taste of champagne, Prosecco is more fruity tasting with notes of green apples, citrus and white flowers.
Interested in trying one of these well-known wines at the source, and seeing the famous canal city of Venice? For more information about traveling in Italy and wine tastings, talk to a travel consultant at Bella Vista Tours at 877-723-0802.