Italy is made up of 20 regions, each of which produce wine. Three of the most well-known regions are Piemonte, Tuscany and Veneto and within these regions are the famous areas of Soave, Barolo and Tuscany.
When I was invited to lunch to meet three winemakers from these regions, I could not think of a better trio of wines to take us through a meal — from the crisp whites of Soave, to the earthy elegant wines of Barolo to the bold fruity wines of Tuscany.
And while these three regions are independent, as are the winemakers who were in town, what they share is a connection to history, a passion for flavor and a story to tell.
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.
The province of Verona is where some of the more recognized wines come from, including Soave, Valpolicella and Amarone.
The Soave area is the largest in Europe, with 6,500 hectares planted. Made with at least 65% Garganega and up to 30% Trebbiano di Soave, Soave is a fragrant, fresh, medium bodied wine.
Valpolicella is the name of the area made up of three valleys crossed by the Negrar, Marano and Fumane rivers. Valpolicella is made with the varietals Rondinella, Molinara, and Covina and produce a fruity and acidic medium-body red wine.