Veneto is the largest producer of wine by volume of any region in the country of Italy, and the wines of Veneto vary from the dry sparkling wines of Prossecco to sweet whites like Soave and the intense red blends found in Valpolicella.
The Corvina, Garganega, and Glera grapes are the three most commonly planted varietals in Veneto, and there are five sub-regions that make up the wines of Veneto and are deemed to be the most important by wine critics and enthusiasts worldwide.
The Top Wines of Veneto, Italy
Is the most important sub region of Veneto when it comes to red wine, and the signature Valpolicella blend dominates here.
This dry red blend is made using four different grapes – Corvina, Rondinella, Corvinone and Molinara.
While each producer uses a slightly different ratio to make their own Valpolicella blends, the use of local grapes is required in this blend, with different designations requiring different ratio levels.
The Valpolicella blend is used to make everything from everyday table wine to ageable classics.
Of all the Italian wine grapes used to construct the Valpolicella blend, Corvina is considered by many to be of the highest quality. This is also the most traditional grape in the area with the longest history of quality winemaking.
For years, the Valpolicella region had a reputation for producing fun and easy drinking table wines, with a focus on drinkability and value rather than quality. In recent decades, the focus of the region has shifted to producing high-quality wines.
The best representations of the Valpolicella blend are light and fruity, with both sweet and tart flavors and very little tannin.
The best producers work tirelessly to perfect their particular grape blend and preserve the region’s history by using traditional winemaking methods.
The region also produces another type of red wine that took the wine world by storm in the 1990s when it gained popularity among the masses.
Amarone della Valpolicella is a big and bold red wine that suits the plates of more adventurous wine enthusiasts.
Amarone della Valpolicella was created when winemakers in the region were looking for a way to add body and depth to their wines, as local grape varietals produce a wine that is light in body. Producers had to think outside the box to add layers of complexity to their wines.
Winemakers were able to intensify their wines by drying the grapes directly after being harvested. This allows excess water to be removed, and the end result is a stronger and more concentrated wine than was ever thought possible for the region.
Amarone became very popular in the 1990s, as the fashionable wines at the time were “big and bold” steakhouse wines like Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah.
The intense flavors of Amarone allow it to stand up to more aggressive wines with much higher tannin levels.
Giuseppe Quintarelli Amarone della Valpolicella Classico DOCG is a very popular Amarone that has gained a cult following in recent decades. This is one of the most high end and refined representations of Amarone, and a bottle costs over $250.
Giuseppe Quintarelli Valpolicella Classico Superiore is made by the same producer, and showcases the winemaker’s range and technique. This is a light and easy drinking wine with plenty of layers of complexity for discerning palates.
Soave is the most important white wine sub-region in Veneto, as well as all of Italy.
This region is a true powerhouse in the world of white wine, and the Garganega grape reigns supreme here. Garganega is either used to make a single variety of wine or blended with Trebbiano grapes.
The signature Soave blend is made up of a blend of Trebbiano and Garganega grapes, and the ratio differs from producer to producer. The Soave white wine blend is well known in wine circles for being an affordable and easy-drinking white wine.
Garganega is also used in single varietal wines, and the result is a light wine that can range from floral to fruity on the palate.
The acidity is well balanced to achieve a cohesive and harmonious white wine that is great for summer sipping outdoors.
Pieropan La Rocca Soave Classico is a classic example of a quality Garganega wine, and it has received high marks from a variety of different wine critics – including a 94 point rating from Wine Enthusiast. At under $30 a bottle, this is one of the best values in Italian wine.
The same producer also makes a Soave blend, and Pieropan Soave Classico is made using the same base grape. It was awarded a gold medal at the 2021 Sommeliers Choice Awards, and it is another fantastic value from this producer at under $15 per bottle.
Is one of the most well established and prestigious producers of Prossecco anywhere in the world.
Prosecco is a sparkling wine known for its green fruit flavors and big bubbles. There are few, if any places in the world that make Prosecco as well as Conegliano and Valdobbiadene.
Prosecco is made using Glera, which is a white wine grape that thrives in many different sub-regions of Veneto. Conegliano-Valdobbiadene is well known for producing some of the best and most flavourful Glera wine grapes anywhere in all of Italy.
While more expensive bottles of Champagne are made using a time-consuming and labor-intensive process referred to as the “traditional method,” Prosecco is made using a faster and more cost-effective solution known as the “tank method.”
The tank method entails filling a large vat or tank and pressurizing and carbonating the entire batch at once. This allows winemakers to produce a large amount of Prossecco at a time in a cost-effective fashion and gives the wine its signature large bubbles.
Nino Franco Rustico is a lovely bottle of wine that is one of the most searched for bottles of Prossecco from the Conegliano Valdobbiadene on the internet.
It has received a 94 point score from Wine Enthusiast, and is an incredible value at around $15 per bottle.
Bisol Prosecco Valdobbiadene Superiore di Cartizze DOCG is one of the best bottles of Prosecco available on the market today, and at under $35 a bottle – it is a great way to taste the highest quality available in this region without breaking the bank.
The Lugana sub-region focuses exclusively on white wine, with Verdicchio being the most important grape in the region.
White wines made in this region must contain at least 90% Verdicchio, and producers often opt to use much more than this minimum percentage.
This crisp and clean white wine carries floral aromas as well as hints of sweet fruit like grapefruit and melon.
The high mineral content of the soil allows the wine grapes to become very ripe, and the end result is a wine with complex and full flavours of fruit and herbs.
Zenato Lugana di San Benedetto Bianco is one of the most recognisable representations of the region’s signature winemaking style, and at under $20 a bottle, it is a great introductory bottle for those new to the Italian wine world.
The same producer also makes another, slightly pricier bottle called Zenato ‘Sergio Zenato’ Lugana Riserva. At around $30 a bottle, it is well worth the upgrade for white wine enthusiasts, as previous vintages have won awards at many international wine competitions.
Colli Berici is located directly in the middle of the Veneto region, and everything from reds and whites to rosé style wines are produced here.
No one grape varietal dominates the region, assuring plenty of selection and great choices for all different types of wine enthusiasts.
This region is home to some of the most hilly terrain in all of Veneto, which gives the wines unique qualities that can not be found anywhere else in the region.
The most prestigious vineyards face south on hillsides and produce wine grapes of a particular quality.
Inama ‘Oratorio di San Lorenzo’ Colli Berici Carmenere Riserva is a red wine from the region that is made using the Carmenere grape. The wine has received a 90-point score from Wine Spectator, as well as 95 points from Falstaff.
Inama ‘Campo del Lago’ Merlot Colli Berici is a Merlot made by the same producer and offers one of the best red wine values in the region at under $20 per bottle.
This wine received a 91 point score from Falstaff, and is an easy-drinking red that can be enjoyed year-round.
Wines of Veneto – Conclusion
There is plenty of variety in the Veneto region for all wine enthusiasts to enjoy, as everything from light to strong red wines as well as sparkling and still whites are produced here.
The region is a major player in the Italian wine game and is well known for delivering consistent quality at a reasonable price point.
Be sure to comment below and let other wine enthusiasts your favorite bottles of wine from the famous Veneto region of Italy!