The Veneto |

The Veneto

Heading into my home town state, the Veneto offers a broad range of wines, many well known, but many still remain to be drank only within their cities borders. There are 25 DOC and 3 DOCG, all close to Verona- Bardolino Superiore, Soave Superiore and Recioto di Soave.

Bardolino Superior is made mainly from the Corvina grape (35-65%), which gives the wine its structure and color; Rondinella (10-40%) the erby, vegetable like aromas typical of the wine and Molinara or Rossignola are added for their frangrance. Only as a superior does it reach DOCG position at 12% alcohol instead of the normal 10-11%. It has a light ruby red color and intense fruit aromas that remind us of rasberries and cranberries. It light, balanced, with only a touch of warmth, softness and tannins. Its great to drink with pastas that have a meat sauce or even a vegatable sauce with mushrooms; or to have with white meats like chicken or rabbit in a butter sauce.
Recioto di Soave and Soave superior both come from the area around Soave and are made with the Garganega grape. Garganega is a rather easy drinking wine with no sharp edges, therefor making it perfect for the Recioto. With almond perfumes, it is a sweet wine made from the sun dried grapes. It has a brilliant yellow color with a bouquet of honey, ripened fruits and sambuca flowers. Its sweet and elegant and fills your mouth with velvety goodness. It pairs perfectly with the Veronian treat of pan d'oro (which is similar to plum cake) usually served during christmas.

Soave Superiore on the other hand is fresher and fruitier- green apple, lemon, pineapple and other tropical fruits abound. It is dry with a medium warmth, and a good amount of softness, freshness and sapidity. Great to be consumed with fish dishes or asparagus.
Soon to be added to the DOCG list, Prosecco is probably the most drunk of the Venetian wine types (it is also added into other popular cocktails like the Sprtiz and the Bellini) The grape of the same name is semi-aromatic, resulting in a semi-aromatic wine which is easy to drink and considered slightly sweet in comparison to other sparkling whites. The desired 'Cartizze' prosecco which is produced in a certain area of the Conegliano-Valdobbiadene hills, lets the grapes age on the vine for a longer time, drying them and therefor producing an even more aromatic and smoother wine. Reminiscence of pear, apple, camomile and vegetables, it has an enormous freshness with gentile pearl-like bubbles. Great as a drink among friends or as a pre or after dinner drink with assorted dry pastries.
Another extremely important Doc is the Valopicella. Made in the majority from the Corvina grape, Rondinella can also be added up to 30%. Valpolicella can be produced in four major forms- Valpolicella, Valpolicella Superiore, Amarone and Recioto. The Amarone is considered to be one of the most important reds of Italy and it made from the full fermentation of over dried grapes, giving it a high level of alcohol but an amazing body and structure. It is intense and complete with a bouquet of red and purple flowers and jam or dried fruits. Spices like cinnamon and cloves, tabacco, truffles and more give it its complexity. Soft, warm, tannic and elegant with a grand persistance. Even the Recioto uses over dried grapes, but the fermentation process is stopped in the middle, leaving an intense desert wine, rich in flavor (spices, liquorish, chocolate) and heat, yet velvety, balanced.
There are many more important DOC and IGT in the Veneto and many more fantastic grapes. Ill leave you with a list of the some of the more important or at least my prefered.

Tocai Rosso (the Veneto's version of Grenache); Tocai Friulano; Moscato Fior D'Arancio (also in the bubbly form) great for desert cheers; Rabaso; Torcolato (the desert version of the Vespaiolo grape/wine, made possible only in the Breganze hills; Verduzzo; Refosco; Maremino which in the hills of Conegliano is used to also make a dry wine and a passito called Refrontolo; Gambellara DOC, which uses the garganega grape to make recioto and also Vin Santo; Durello; Torchiato di Fregona- another passito wine made from Prosecco, Verdiso and Boschera and is extremely rare.


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