Venice is a region with a deep-rooted wine history, as wine has been produced in the area since around 200 BC.
The wines of Venice played an important role in the development of early winemaking techniques, and today it is still a prominent wine region.
Sometimes referred to as the “Republic of Venice,” the three regions of Veneto, Friuli-Venezia Giulia, and Trentino-Alto Adige are all important players in the wine world today.
The Romans founded the settlement that would eventually become Venice and used the surrounding area for farmland of wine grapes and edible crops.
This laid the foundation for winemakers in subsequent generations, and the seeds of a wine culture were planted.
In subsequent centuries, neither raids from barbarians nor the fall of the Roman empire were able to shake Venice’s winemaking roots.
Once the port of Venice became operational, the region exploded both in terms of size and cultural impact.
Venice became known as a gathering place for some of the most talented artists, musicians, designers, and winemakers for hundreds of years.
The region was home to the very first school focused on viticulture in the country, which was founded in 1885.
Up until 1796, the Republic of Venice was its own sovereign state, and its borders covered the three regions now known as Veneto, Friuli-Venezia Giulia, and Trentino-Alto Adige.
Influences of the past are apparent today, as many people refer to all three regions as the “Venice area.”
The Top Wines of Venice, Italy
Today, the Veneto region is a powerhouse in the wine industry, as it produces more wine by volume than any other Italian region despite being smaller in size than many others.
It is one of the most visited wine regions in the country today and a very important player in wine tourism.
Wine and history enthusiasts all over the world visit the Veneto region to tour wineries and get a glimpse of Romeo and Juliet’s balcony in the city of Verona, made famous by the stories of William Shakespeare.
Verona is the second largest city in the Veneto region, with Venice being the largest and most culturally important.
Both red and white wines flourish when grown in this area, and there are many local Italian grape varietals that have been perfected in Veneto over centuries.
Sparkling wine is the first thing many sommeliers and wine enthusiasts think of when asked about the Veneto region, as it is home to Prosecco, one of the most famous sparkling wines in the entire world.
Prosecco is an easy-drinking, often affordable, sparkling wine that is characterized by its bright flavors of green apple and pear. Prosecco is produced using the Glera wine grape, which is grown almost exclusively in the Venetian regions of Veneto and Friuli.
A blend called Valpolicella is the most prominent red wine in Veneto, and it is made up of the three local grapes Corvina, Corvinone and Rondinella. This Valpolicella Blend accounts for about one-third of all wine produced in the region and is known for its sweet fruit flavors.
The Friuli wine region is best known for light and aromatic white wines that are regarded by many critics and wine enthusiasts to be the best in the entire country of Italy.
White wines from Italy are usually full and rich, and rarely feature the refined and crisp minerality shown in Friuli.
The wines of the Friuli-Venezia Giulia region are unique in Italy, as they are grown in a remote mountainous corner of the country with a climate very different from that of the rest of the country.
Single variety wines are the focus here, and winemakers are sure to let the grape shine by itself.
There are three IGPs, 12 DOCs, and four DOCGs in the Friuli-Venezia Giulia area, with white wine being the dominant force driving the local wine economy. Nearly 80 percent of all wines produced in the region are white.
Familiar grapes like Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio, and Riesling all thrive here, along with local wine grape varietals like Friulano, Verduzzo, and Picolit.
French wine grapes are used to produce the region’s red wines such as Merlot, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon and Franc.
The average price of a bottle of wine from the Friuli-Venezia Giulia region is significantly higher than that of neighboring regions Veneto and Trentino-Alto Adige.
This is due to the unique growing conditions of the region, and the refined approach to winemaking used locally.
The Trentino-Alto Adige region is located all the way in the north of Italy, and it shares a border with the neighboring country Austria.
Pinot Grigio has become the most important wine grape in the area, and winemakers have worked hard to perfect the signature wine style of the region.
While this is not a particularly large wine region in terms of size, there is enough variety in terms of wine styles and microclimates that it is divided into seven different sub-regions.
While Pinot Grigio is the most well-known grape from the region, no one grape dominates plantings here.
More than half of all wines produced in the Trentino-Alto Adige are white, with Pinot Grigio, Gewürztraminer, Chardonnay, and Pinot Blanc being the four dominant white wine plantings.
Schiava is the most planted red wine grape followed by Lagrein and Pinot Noir.
Compared to French and American representations of the grape, Trentino-Alto Adige Pinot Grigio carries a higher level of acidity that entices the palate and keeps the drinker coming back for more.
There are also fewer fruit flavors than Pinot Grigio grown in warmer wine regions.
The Schiava grape is used to produce the region’s most popular red wine, and it is most comparable to easy-drinking red wines like Gamay and Zinfandel.
A bottle of Schiava from Trentino-Alto Adige will be full of strong fruit flavors like strawberries and cherries.
Prosecco is a sparkling wine made with the Glera grape that is produced in the regions of Veneto and Friuli-Venezia Giulia.
This easy-drinking sparkling wine is a favorite of sommeliers, as it is known to be very “food friendly” and pair well with a variety of different dishes.
This refreshing sparkling wine has a flavor that has been compared to green apple skin, and the texture of carbonation is very different from that of Champagne.
Prosecco is known for its “big bubbles” which are a result of the way it is carbonated.
The tank method is used to make Prosecco, which involves carbonating a large tank of wine at once.
This is much more cost-effective than the traditional method of making sparkling wine, and the result is an affordable and easy-drinking sparkling wine that has larger bubbles.
Venetian White Wine
White wine dominates production in Venice and its surrounding regions, and the grapes grown in this region are unique, with many being exclusive to the area.
The Soave, Gambellara, and Gambellara regions are the three most important white wine areas in the country.
The Soave DOC is one of the most famous white wine appellations in Italy, and it is made up of a blend of Garganega grapes and other local white wine grapes.
Soave is one of the largest producers of white wine by volume anywhere in the world.
Pieropan Soave Classico is one of the most famous and easily recognizable bottles of Soave’s signature blend. It has received multiple awards, including a gold medal at the 2021 Sommeliers Choice Awards.
Wines produced in the Gambellara appellation range from dry to sweet, and can be either still or sparkling.
Garganega is the primary grape used to make wine here, and wines from this region are known for their floral aromas and taste.
Vignato Davide El Gian Gambellara Classico is made using the Garganega grape and is known across the wine world as an easy-drinking summer wine.
A bottle usually costs under $20, making it a great choice for outdoor entertaining poolside or at summer barbecues.
Nearly all of the wine produced in the Custoza region is on the drier end of the sweetness spectrum, and there are four different grape varieties allowed in the region’s famous white wine blend.
This is one of the best regions to explore for budget-conscious lovers of good white wine.
Cavalchina ‘Amedeo’ Bianco di Custoza Superiore is made up of a blend of Garganega, Fernanda, Trebbiano, and Trebbianello grapes.
The result is a crisp white wine that carries the aromas of many different flowers and is extremely easy to drink.
Venetian Red Wine
While white wine dominates production in Venice and the surrounding regions, some of the red wines produced there are some of the best in the world.
Bardolino and Amarone della Valpolicella are two key DOCs for red wine drinkers to keep an eye on.
Corvina and Rondinella are the two main grapes used to make wine in both the Bardolino and Bardolino Classico DOCs.
This medium to bold red wine is extremely versatile in terms of food pairing, making it a favorite among sommeliers worldwide.
Le Fraghe ‘Rodon’ Bardolino Chiaretto is a classic representation of the Bardolino DOC, and it delivers incredible value at under $20 a bottle.
This wine was awarded a 91-point score by Wine Enthusiast and is a favorite among locals and wine enthusiasts around the world.
Amarone della Valpolicella
Wines from the Amarone della Valpolicella DOCG are extremely bold and very dry, making them a candidate for the most adventurous of wine enthusiasts that prefer “big” wines.
These aged Italian reds usually carry a hefty price tag as production is very labor intensive.
Casalforte produces a fantastic bottle of Amarone della Valpolicella, as well as a Riserva. Amarone produced by Casalforte is of very high quality, and it is one of the most trusted and most recognizable sellers of Amarone in the entire world.
Wines of Venice – Conclusion
Venice is one of the most unique wine regions in all of Italy, and its roots in the wine world run deep.
This is one of the most important areas for wine production in the entire world, and today it is home to the largest wine-producing region in all of Italy.
Venice and its surrounding regions are home to some of the most unique wines in the world, and understanding the Venice wine region is a great way to find some of the best bottles of wine in all of Italy.