The Eastern Veneto area is large and varied, and still bears many signs of its past as the hinterland of the Republic of Venice. Dominated by the Prosecco DOC appellation and the Pinot Grigio delle Venezie label, it’s also home to the Raboso del Piave, an iconic local grape proudly fighting the invasion of foreign varieties. In recent years, the Dorona variety has also been recovered in an attempt to restart winegrowing in the Venetian lagoon.
Eastern Veneto: soil and climate
From the Prealps to the Venetian lagoon, a vast plain crossed by ancient waterways – the Tagliamento, Livenza, Piave and Brenta rivers – provides unexpected panoramas, especially in the area where the rivers burst forth from underground, as it marks the boundary between the upper plains (characterised by gravelly, well-drained soils) from the lower plains to the south (where the soils are finer-grained with patches of clay and lime). The area enjoys good breezes, a unique range of temperatures and abundant rainfall.
Venezia: grape varieties and wines
The Venezia DOC appellation spans the provinces of Venice and Treviso and comprises still wines made from Pinot Grigio, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Chardonnay, as well as effervescent and sparkling wines from Verduzzo, Glera and Raboso grapes.
The appellation also includes a project at the Discalced Carmelite Convent to recover and reinstate all the varieties historically found in the province of Venice. On the island of Venissa, the Bisol family are working to promote the rediscovery of the age-old Dorona variety.
Lison: grape varieties and wines
Between the Tagliamento and Livenza rivers – an area comprising parts of the provinces of Venice, Treviso and Pordenone – the Lison DOCG appellation celebrates the classic Tocai Friulano grape through fragrant wines packed with minerality. Wines can be classed as Classico if they have been produced in the municipalities where the variety has always been grown. The Lison DOC appellation covers the same area, and for the most part denotes varietal wines from international and indigenous varieties, such as Tai, Verduzzo (Friulano and Trevigiano) and Refosco dal Peduncolo Rosso.
Piave: grape varieties and wines
In the Piave DOC appellation, varietal wines are the order of the day – mainly Chardonnay and Manzoni Bianco. However, it’s the Raboso grape that’s the emblem of the appellation and is still grown using the traditional bellussere. The wine is unpolished, tannic and highly acidic. It’s not easy to tame Raboso, but the ancient wisdom of local winegrowers has joined forces with modern innovation for the Malanotte del Piave DOCG appellation. This wine is produced from very late-harvested or dried grapes, and is left to age for at least three years.
Delle Venezie: grape varieties and wines
Pinot Grigio is the focal point of the Delle Venezie DOC appellation, which constitutes the largest area of production of this grape in the world: the whole of the Friuli Venezia Giulia and Veneto regions and the Autonomous Province of Trent. Still, effervescent and sparkling Pinot Grigio are produced under the appellation, as well as a ramato (verging on rosé) and Bianco, produced with Chardonnay, Pinot Bianco, Müller Thurgau, Garganega, Verduzzo or Tocai Friulano.
Prosecco: grape varieties and wines
Glera is the principal grape used in wines under the Prosecco DOC appellation, which comprises all the provinces of the Friuli Venezia Giulia and Veneto regions, excepting Verona and Rovigo. Prosecco DOC is produced in effervescent, sparkling and still versions.
15% of the wine may be made up of other varieties such as Bianchetta Trevigiana, Perera, Chardonnay, Pinot Bianco, Pinot Grigio and Pinot Nero. A recent introduction to the portfolio is the rosé version, which uses Pinot Nero to give it its pink hue.
Po Delta: grape varieties and wines
Exploring the Po Delta is a fascinating experience not only because of its natural beauty, but also because winegrowing in this area still follows ancient traditions and focuses strongly on preserving local varieties which used to be commonplace but have risked disappearing in recent times, such as Mattarella (a green grape), Turchetta Polesana, Baseganin (or Basegana), Benedina (all dark grapes).