BAGNOLI DI SOPRA WINE ZONE IN THE PADOVA PROVINCE
For more than a thousand years, the history of this region, covering a delimited area in the south portion of the Padova Province of the Veneto Region, has been associated with the tradition of vines, grapes and wine.
The Benedictine monks had their seat in Bagnoli di Sopra from 964, and their work can be credited with extending the practice of wine-growing and defining its importance. This is why only the wine made in the municipality of Bagnoli di Sopra, the original and oldest D.O.C. area of provenance and a place where research activity continues, can be called "classico".
Grapevines cultivated in this production area grow on alluvial and sedimentary, mixed and lime soil. It is this soil which, together with the wide temperature range in summer attributable to the nearby Adige river, determines the strong aroma of the local grapes.
The D.O.C wines are: Bagnoli Bianco, Bagnoliclassico, Bagnoli spumante, Bagnolirosato (rosé), Bagnoliclassicorosato (rosé), Bagnoli spumanterosato (rosé), Bagnoli Rosso, Bagnoliclassico Rosso, Bagnoli Rossoriserva, Bagnoliclassico Rossoriserva, Bagnoli Cabernet, Bagnoliclassico Cabernet, Bagnoli Cabernetriserva, Bagnoliclassico Cabernetriserva, Bagnoli Merlot, Bagnoliclassico Merlot, Bagnoli Merlotriserva, Bagnoliclassico Merlotriserva, BagnoliFriularo, BagnoliclassicoFriularo, BagnoliFriularoriserva, BagnoliclassicoFriularoriserva, BagnoliFriularovendemmiatardiva (late-harvest), BagnoliclassicoFriularovendemmiatardiva (late-harvest), Bagnolipassito and Bagnoliclassicopassito.
The grape is also suitable for late harvest after Saint Martin's day (11th November), and dried. In honour of this wine, in existence as far back In particular, Friulano is a red wine produced from native vines of the same name belonging to the Raboso family. as the days of the Serenissima Republic of Venice, the road linking Padua to Bagnoli, through Conselve, was called Stradon del Vin Friularo.
This Road has been rediscovered and enhanced in recent years and is now an idyllic route for nature lovers winding through the tranquil, green countryside. Visitors to the area can admire works by great masters like Tintoretto in Conselve, Tiepolo inCartura, Bonazza in Bagnoli and inCandiana to name but a few; villas of the aristocracy, such as Villa Widmann designed by Baldassarre Longhena and Villa Garzoni by Jacopo Sansovino; churches and monasteries, castles and old "casoni" (humble thatched cottages). Lastly, the Benedictine Courts are admired for their architectural uniqueness and beauty, as well as their great contribution to local grape-growing over the span of centuries.
The road is easily reached by bicycle from the Euganei hills or the main train line from Padova to Bologna.· The best way to explore is on a bike but if you are a walker and understand the bus system there are some wonderful walks to enjoy. Bring your bird identification book because being near the sea and the Delta of the Po there are a wide variety of birds along the canals.
COLLI GORIZIA WINE ZONE
The Collio Goriziano is the 4th largest DOC in the Friuli-Venezia Giulia in terms of areas planted. It is also the 4th leading producer in terms of volume, trailing the Friuli Grave, Isonzo and Colli Orientali del Friuli region in production. Over 85% of the Collio production is in white wine grape varieties. While still low in comparison to the rest of Italy, the yields in the Collio Goriziano are higher than the 3.5 tons an acre average of the Friuli-Venezia Giulia. In the Collio, the yields average around 4.4 tons/acre (77 hectolitres/ hectare) though some quality conscious producers have lower yields. Winemaker Mario Schiopetto was one of the first to incorporate German winemaking techniques like cold fermentation to white wine production in the Collio Goriziano. Today, winemaking on the region is very technologically advance with refrigerated fermentation tanks, pneumatic wine presses, and centrifugation bottling systems. The objective of most Gorizian Hills winemakers is to maximize the fresh fruit and pure varietal characteristic of the grape. To that extent, oak influence is not widely used in this region though some winemaking are experimenting with its use and different blends of grape varieties to produce more complex wine.
The Gorizia Hills (Collio; or Brda) is a hilly microregion in the Friuli Venezia Region of northeastern Italy. It lies on the right bank of the Soča (Isonzo) river, north and west of the Italian town of Gorizia, after which it is named. The region has around 120 square kilometres and 7,000 inhabitants, mostly ethnic Slovenes, with a small number of Friulian speakers in its westernmost part (in the municipality of Dolegna del Collio). Today, the majority of the region is in Slovenia, with around 60% of the territory and 80% of the inhabitants. The Slovene part of the Gorizia Hills lies entirely in the Municipality of Brda. The Italian part lies within the boundaries of the Province of Gorizia, and it's divided among the municipalities of San Floriano del Collio, Cormons and Dolegna del Collio. The region is predominately a white wine producer with Friulano, Ribolla Gialla, Malvasia Istriana, Chardonnay, Pinot bianco, Pinot grigio and Sauvignon blanc being the leading varietals. Red wine is produced under the Collio Rosso designation and is usually a blend of Merlot, Cabernet franc and Cabernet Sauvignon. In Italy, the Gorizia Hills are designated Denominazione diorigine controllata (DOC) and belong to the Italian wine region of Friuli-Venezia Giulia. The DOC is located in the province of Gorizia near the border with Slovenia. Some Slovene wine from the region of Brda also carry the designation of Collio due to their vineyards overlapping across the Italian border.
Along the wine route there are many places that reminds visitors of the cruel remains of the First World War, for instance the ossuary of Oslavia which hosts the bodies of sixty thousand fallen. There is also pleasant landscape offered by the hills overlooking the whole plain around the Isonzo river, i.e. San Floriano, Spessa, Còrmons, Ruttars, where the ancient nobility built their castles, towers and manors. The Collio invites its visitors to bike or walk along country roads and paths, enjoy nature, relax and stop for a holiday in its woods and parks. All characterized by a perfect landscape of vineyards as well as by good wine and food from its wine cellars andagriturismo (farms serving local dishes).
CORTI BENEDETTINE WINE ZONE IN THE PADOVA PROVINCE
The Corti Benedettine del Padovano area, awarded the D.O.C designation in 2004, extends to the southeast of the province of Padua and the south of the province of Venice. The designation does not, however, define a specific geographical area as much as marks an important historical period in terms of the social and economic development of this part of the Veneto plain.
Wine-growing and wine-making go back to the days of Antenor who, according to a legend, is the mythical Trojan hero who founded the city of Padua and first cultivated a magic plant, that he had jealously brought back from the ancient lands of Asia.
The earliest written evidence of wine growing in the area dates to Roman times during the era of the second Republic. Most of the wine cultivation that was occurring in the specific area has been attributed mostly to the Benedictine groups, who also became the owners of large land areas for almost 1000 years. These religious groups oversaw the administration, economic, and social development of large states which appeared land for cultivation, created embankments along the rivers, and constructed rule buildings. It was a wine that was produced and stored the sellers of the Courts and became a major commodity to exchange with the city states of Padova and Venice.
Venice trade records show that these wines·were especially popular and enjoyed·popular trade value throughout many Mediterranean ports. Centuries of experience had gained vineyards and wineries a good name for quality, in this part of Veneto where, together with the historical and native grapevines, such as Raboso, Refosco, Tocai and Moscatogiallo, wine-growers also produced the so called 'international wines' that thrive in the excellent local climate and soil conditions: Merlot, Cabernet, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Sauvignon, Pinot grigio and Pinotbianco. Many of these wines are to be enjoyed young, appreciated for their fresh taste accompanied by intense floral notes, whilst others require medium or long periods of ageing, underscoring their bouquet and offering the palate greater complexity and an elegant structure, along with superior contours.
White wines included in the D.O.C. are:CortiBenedettine del Padovano Bianco, CortiBenedettine del Padovano Chardonnay (also in sparkling and spumante versions), CortiBenedettine del Padovano Pinotbianco, CortiBenedettine del Padovano Pinot grigio, CortiBenedettine del Padovano Sauvignon, CortiBenedettine del Padovano Tai, CortiBenedettine del Padovano Moscato spumante and CortiBenedettine del Padovanopassito from Moscatogiallo.
Red wines of the D.O.C. are:Corti Benedettine del Padovano Rosso, Corti Benedettine del Padovano rosato (rosé), Corti Benedettine del Padovano novello, Corti Benedettine del Padovano Cabernet, Corti Benedettine del Padovano Cabernet riserva, Corti Benedettine del Padovano Cabernet Sauvignon, Corti Benedettine del Padovano Merlot, Corti Benedettine del Padovano Raboso, Corti Benedettine del Padovano Raboso riserva, Corti Benedettine del Padovano Raboso passito, Corti Benedettine del Padovano Refosco dal peduncolo rosso and Corti Benedettine del Padovano Refosco dal peduncolo rosso riserva.
Visitors to the area have the chance to see medieval monasteries and courts, some of which are today used as villas or residences. Piove di Sacco offers the beauty of the Monastery of Saints Vitus and Modestus, which was already existing in 1100, while Legnaro and Correzzola each have an important Benedictine Court. In Bagnoli, Villa Widmann still shows the ancient structure of the monastery built after the city was donated to Benedictine monks in 954.
WINE ZONE OF THE EUGANEI HILLS, PADOVA PROVINCE
The Euganean Hills are of volcanic origin, their typical cone shapes rising like oases from the Po valley in the province of Padua. A combination of a mild climate, protected by the nearby Adriatic Sea, and the nature of the soil made of broken-up volcanic stones with a good, well-drained skeleton rich in minerals and micro elements, has created an ideal place for wine-growing. Vines have been grown in the area from immemorial time and have had a strong influence on the landscape, which has been slowly, but steadily transformed by the hand of man since the earliest settlements and by the uninterrupted sequence of communities, and flourishing, hard-working civilisations.
D.O.C. wines produced in the area are Colli Euganei Bianco, Colli Euganei Pinotbianco, Colli Euganei Chardonnay and Colli Euganei Moscato (all also in a spumante version), Colli Euganei Tai, Colli Euganei Rosso (also innovello andriserva versions), Colli Euganei Cabernet, Colli Euganei Cabernet franc, Colli Euganei Cabernet Sauvignon and Colli Euganei Merlot (the last wines also as Riserva).
Specialities of this D.O.C. include Colli Euganei Pinello, a straw yellow wine with hints of green, delicate in fragrance and fresh in taste, also in a sparkling version, Colli Euganei Serprino, also sparkling, a straw yellow, pale and bright wine, and Colli Euganei Fior d'Arancio. The latter is a straw yellow wine with hints of gold and a lingering, intense fragrance typical of its grape, the Moscato giallo, also available as spumante and passito.
The unique natural and artistic beauty of the Euganean Hills offers plenty of charm. The heart of paleo-venetian culture, the Hills are today an important tourist destination. A natural haven protected by the Regional Park, the Colli offer a variegated production of wines, but also prestigious niche products, such as those coming from the "Corte Padovana".
From one hill to another along the Strada del Vino (Wine Road) itinerary, the landscape is a succession of perfect geometries of vineyards, villages and medieval castles, churches, monasteries and retreats, of villas built during the Renaissance and noble residences, favourite places of renowned people such as Goethe, Foscolo, Byron, Shelley and Petrarca. The poet Petrarca's house in the town of Arquà is a favourite tourist attraction, along with other splendid medieval buildings.
There are bike paths and walking trails for every level, and many are protected for the main traffic flow making it an area to enjoy with younger, or inexperienced riders. With plenty of interesting stops throughout the national park area this is a perfect bicycle destination. This is the area many individuals living in Padova and the surrounding work towns escape to, to enjoy some riding. On the weekend there are groups riding everywhere. The area is large enough that you can always find a few quite roads to yourself or link up with a local group to ride with.
SANGIOVESE GRAPES | ITALY'S FOOD AND WINE
The name of the Sangiovese red grape is thought to be derived from "sanguis Jovis" meaning "the blood of Jove (Jupiter)." Its beginnings probably predate Roman times. Sangiovese is one of the two predominant red grapes (the other being nebbiolo) in Italy, where it is extensively planted, particularly in the central and southern regions. It is believed to have originated in Tuscany, where it dominates today. Sangiovese wines vary immensely depending on where the grapes are grown, how they're grown (the yield allowed), and which of the many subvarieties they are made from. Generally, Sangiovese wines are high in acid, with moderate to high tannins, and medium levels of alcohol. The flavours have a hint of earthiness and are usually not boldly fruity. Sangiovese wines are not deeply coloured and often have a slightly orange tint around the edges. Most are not long-lived and will last for less than 10 years.
Of the numerous strains of this grape, Sangiovese Grosso and Sangiovese Piccolo have taken the lead. Compared to Sangiovese Piccolo's smaller grape clusters, Sangiovese Grosso has larger, more loosely bunched grapes. It is also more widely cultivated and yields a larger crop. One strain of Sangiovese Grosso is Brunello ("little dark one"), so named for the brown hue of its skin. It is the grape responsible for the potent and long-lived Brunello di Montalcino wines, which are made totally from this variety. Prugnolo is Montepulciano's local name for the Sangiovese Grosso grape, which produces the Vino Nobile di Montepulciano wines. Though Sangiovese is the dominant grape in Italy's well-known Chianti wines, for DOC qualification it must be blended with other varieties, including a percentage of white grapes. Fortunately, the maximum allowable Sangiovese (also known as Sangioveto in Chianti) went from 80 to 90 percent in 1984, which allows Chianti wines to have a more robust character. Some producers, particularly in Tuscany, are now making non-DOC wines either using only Sangiovese grapes or blending them with small amounts of Cabernet Sauvignon or the stronger-flavoured Cabernet Franc (Podere San Cresci). Cabernet is a particularly complimentary partner that lends bouquet, structure, and longevity. The Carmignano DOCG officially allows 10 percent Cabernet Sauvignon to be blended with their elegant Sangiovese-based wines.
SOAVE, VERONA PROVINCE
Soave is a lovely and historic small town near Verona that should be on every ones "to visit" list when traveling through the Veneto. A medieval walled city and one of the Touring Club Itailiano's "Comune Bandiera Arancione", Soave has a rich history and cultural tradition, and one of the best wine zones in Italy. Being off the main travel lines Soave is a great active vacation area for walking or biking.
Located at the foot of the Lessini Mountains and overlooks the valley where the river Tramigna flows. The enchanting Castle bordered by ancient wall and 24 towers is the symbol of the city. The tower stands as a testimony of ancient torture and imprisonment, but today it is a venue for events, festivals and historic events. From the castle you can enjoy a romantic landscape filled with gentle hills and vineyards. These landscapes that allow for leisurely walks are also filled with precious treasures of art and architecture, such as the Building of Justice with its loggia and the Scaliger Building, today's town hall. Passing the Building of Horses, tourists can not turn down a visit to the Church of San Giorgio. The ancient Cathedral often hosts concerts of sacred music, while the church of St. Mary of the Dominican fathers is now the City's Library.
Soave famous for its famous white wine. The garganega grapes of the vines that grow on the hills are used to make DOC and DOCG Soave and DOCG Recioto di Soave; these wines are very popular abroad. Wine Making traditions and historic events are celebrated together in May during the "Bianco di Soave Medieval Wine Fair".
Enter the walled city though Porta Verona and enjoy the relaxed atmosphere. Taste some wine or just stroll the main street and have a pastry or cafe. Then go for a walk or bike ride in the hills around the city.