The Veneto wine region is located in north-eastern Italy - protected from the harsh northern European climate by the Alps, the foothills of which form the Veneto's northern extremes. These cooler climes are well-suited to white varieties like Garganega (the main grape for Soave wines). While the warmer Adriatic coastal plains and river valleys are where the renowned Valpolicella, Bardolino and Amarone DOC reds are produced - and is believed to have cultivated grapes since the Bronze Age. The Amarone della Valpolicella, a wine from the hills around Verona, is made from highly-selected grapes, a rich and powerful red and is among the more expensive red wine styles in the world.
Veneto's growers are among the most modernised in Italy - and are among the foremost wine producing regions, both for quality and quantity. While most of the 'classic' wines from this area are based on native grape varieties like Glera (formerly known as Prosecco) and Verduzzo, high demand for Veneto wines in international markets has encouraged the region to experiment with Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Chardonnay and Pinot varieties, to name a few.
Veneto has over 90,000 hectares of vineyards, of which 35,400 being acclaimed DOC, making it the biggest DOC producer in Italy. A highly productive Italian region known for producing more white wines than red wines, with white wine accounting for 55% of the DOC production in Veneto. The climate changes significantly - with continental aspects on the plains, and is much milder along the Adriatic coast, around Lake Garda and in the hilly areas.
The Veneto region has 27 officially recognized DOC and 14 DOCG zones where vineyards are a constant feature of the landscape. This is the reason why in Veneto the subtle interplay between soil, sun and vine brings out the diverse expressions of Prosecco, Garganega and Corvina grapes.
Once the heartland of the Venetian Republic, Veneto is today among the wealthiest, most developed and industrialised regions of Italy. Having one of the country's richest historical, natural, artistic, cultural, musical and culinary heritages, and is the 4th most visited region of Italy, with about 64 million tourists each year. The most appreciated wines in the region come from the provinces of Treviso, Verona, Padova, Venice, and Vicenza.
The importance of winemaking in this region is underscored by the creation in 1885 of the very first Italian school for vine growing and oenology in Conegliano - and the nation's most important wine fair, Vinitaly, takes place each spring in Verona. In addition, Veneto was the first region to constitute the first strada del vino or "wine road". This wine-touring road featured special road signs providing information on vines and the wines they were made into and joined the Valdobbiadene and Conegliano DOC zones crossing a series of hilly vineyards.