A day in the Province of Vicenza

Located in the Northeast of Italy is the Veneto Region, famous for the canals of Venice, the architecture of Palladio and the home of Romeo and Juliet. Comprised of seven provinces, five of them produce wine: Verona, Vicenza, Padua, Treviso and Venice. The Veneto Region is also responsible for producing 20% of all Italian D.O.C. wines. In fact, there are a total of 25 D.O.C. wines and 11 D.O.C.G. wines from within the Veneto region.

At the border of Verona and Vicenza is Gambellara D.O.C. which is also made with the Garganega grape. In addition to the dry white wine Gambellara, Garganega is also used in the sweet wine production of Gambellara Vin Santo D.O.C.G. and Recioto di Gambellara D.O.C.G. Monti Lessini D.O.C. comes from the hills of Vicenza and is made with the highly acidic Durella grape to make a crisp sparkling wine.

At the foot of the mountains is the area of Breganze, famous for the Vesapiolo grape which is used to make Breganze Vespaiolo, Breganze Vespaiolo Spumante and Breganze Torcololato, a passito wine. In the south of Vicenza is the Colli Berici D.O.C. which comes from the Berici Hills. The most typical varietal is Tocai Rosso (now called Tai Rosso) which is the same clone as Grenache and has characteristics of strawberry, cherry, raspberry and spice.

Az. Agr. Vignato Virgilio
Located in the heart of the DOC Gambellara, Vignato Virgilio makes the only Vin Santo del Veneto and Recioto Gambellara, both produced with the Garganega grape. For both wines, the grapes are picked late harvest and the bunches are hung with string to the rafters and twisted. The grapes dry in the natural air and are crushed in late February – early March. The Recioto is the aged in barrels for one year and then stainless steel, whereas the Vin Santo is placed in barrels for 3-4 years.

Vignaioli Contrà Soarda 
Located in the DOC Breganze, Soarda means “hamlet on the slope” and Vignaioli Contra Soarda is just outside of the twon of Bassano del Grappa on the Saint Michael Hills. Owned by Gloria and Mirco Gottardi built an eco-friendly winery in the middle of their 12 hectares of vineyards, as well as the restaurant Pulierin Enotavola where guests can enjoy the Contra Soarda wines paired with local products.

Az. Agr. Colle di Bugano
In the DOC Colli Berici, Colle di Bugano’s cellars are Dug into the hill under a thirteenth century tower. Making traditional varietals, such as Garganega and Tocai Rosso, the wines are delicate with fruity, fresh characteristics. 

Hotel: Hotel Vergilius


Originally published in Food and Beverage International Wines of Veneto: A region to be discovered (November 2011)