Veneto is Italian biggest wine producing region with around the 20% of national production. A big portion of the production is constituted by DOC and DOCG, Italian top quality labels wine.
The territory around Verona is probably one of the most interesting.
In its province there are some of the most historical areas of world wide famous wines such as Valpolicella (Amarone), Soave, Lugana, Bardolino, Custoza, Durello, that can be reached in less than 20-30 minutes drive.
A visit to the cellars and vineyards of these areas is an interesting way to combine the pleasure of a quality wine tasting with the culture and history of an ancient territory rich both in art and culture.
Most of these wineries are open to the public and offer the possibility of guided tours with tasting.
The guided tours are addressed to organized groups as well as enotourists and winelovers who want to discover the wines and wineries of Verona.
Valpolicella is one of the oldest wine producing areas in Italy. Romans cultivated the vine here more than 2000 years ago.
The name Valpolicella is probably coming from the Latin words Val Polis Cellae meaning valley of many cellars.
Today Valpolicella is famous mainly for the dry Amarone made form dried grapes.
The Classica area is a small territory of hills and valleys north-west of Verona between the town and lake Garda.
In recent years, in order to meet the increasing demand of Valpolicella wines the producing area has been expanded and is now covering alle the hills north of Verona from the border with Bardolino wine producing area on the West and Soave on the right.
Both Valpolicella Classica and the Extended Valpolicella are historical areas, inhabited for thousands of years.
Beside the wineries they offer a wide variety of interesting attractions and sites: Renaissance and Baroque style villas, Romanesque parish churches, castles that can contribute in creating an unforgettable guided itinerary.
Soave is the most exported Italian white wine. It is produced around the historical villages of Soave (from which the wine takes the name) and Monteforte d’Alpone, in the Eastern side of Verona territory.
Especially Soave village, since Roman time, has been an important strategical post along the via Postumia, the main road linking the North-East (Aquileia) with the North-West (Milan-Genoa) of Italy.
In the middle age, an impressive castle was built on top of Saove hill by the Scala family, the family that ruled over Verona territory from the end of 13th century until the end of 14th century.
The Castle with its keep and the walls embracing the whole village is still beautifully preserved and can be included in a guided itinerary in eastern Verona wine producing area.
Olive oil is also a major product of this area, and many oil mills (frantoio) in the area can be visited and offer guided tasting sessions of their most representative products.
Bardolino wine producing area is one of the most fascinating territory in Italy with its complexity made by Lake Garda, the hills surrounding it and the changes made by men in more than 30.000 years of human settlements.
The big mass of water of the lake helps creating a sort of Mediterranean climate where olive, lemon, palm trees and of course the vine can thrive.
A Bardolino winery tour also offers the chance to visit Lake Garda area, with its breathtaking landscapes, its middle age castles (Lazise, Bardolino, Torri del Benaco), Renaissance villas (Punta San Vigilio), Romanesque parish curches (San Severo), oil mills and much more.
Lugana is one of the most interesting Italian white wine that in recent years has become extremely popular, both in Italy and abroad.
Lugana small wine producing area is in the southern part of Lake Garda, just between the coast and the morainic hills that surround it.
A wine tour in Lugana area can also include a visit to Sirmione, one of the most beautiful villages of Garda, on a thin peninsula stretching over the blue lake, or to Borghetto, with its typical water mills along the Mincio River and the famous Tortellini (dumplings filled with meat).
Custoza is a nice, fresh, light white wine produced on the morainic hills that surround the southern part of Lake Garda.
It takes the name from a small village that every Italian student knows because near it, a very violent battle for the independence of Veneto.
Beside the monument that recall this important event in Italian history, the whole area is now characterized by series of beautiful and green hills covered by vineyards, olive groves and cypresses.
Together with wine tours, in Custoza it is also possible to taste the delicate local cuisine, relax cycling on various bike tracks and hiking on the hills.
In recent years Custoza and the whole lake southern area are becoming popular also as golf resorts.
WINE TOURISM: CELLARS IN VERONA LAND
There are many different winery styles: big, modern plants using cutting edge wine making technologies, small family run wineries still following the old tradition with cellars literarily built around huge oak barrels full of aging wine, beautiful Renaissance villas with centuries old experience in wine making.
Many of these wineries are opened to guests, and can be visited with advance booking.
There you can stroll along their vineyards, enter the humid and cool cellars full of the perfumes of oak, and of course taste their wines.
A wine tour can be just a winery tour with tasting sessions or it can include a visit to historical sites such as castles, churches, stunning landscapes, charming and tasty local restaurants in the area. More specific tours can also be tailored on customers’ specific needs.
Major wineries have English speaking staff, otherwise translation service is included in the tour.
You might have the chance to talk about wine and wine stories with old wine makers or passionate new generations involved in wine business while sipping incredible wines.