Veneto in northeastern Italy is one of the country’s most important wine regions and has 220,000 acres of vineyards. It is the third largest wine producing region in Italy after Sicily and Puglia. Though Veneto produces more red than white wine, it is most famous for its Soave and Prosecco, both white wines. Venice is the best-known city in the region, but the area’s wine-making capital is Verona. Close to Verona are the appellations for Bardolino, Valpolicella and Soave. The Veneto is also home to Amarone, the densely concentrated, seriously alcoholic, big red wines made by using grapes that are partially or fully dried. The results are lush, sometimes nearly syrupy red wines that approach 20% alcohol, even though most are not sweet. The most famous conventional red wine is Valpolicella, which means “valley of many cellars.” The name is perhaps a reference to the fact that Veneto is home to a number of indigenous grapes not found elsewhere, including the deep red grapes Corvina, Rondinella and Molinara, all used to make Valpolicella. Garganega is the indigenous white grape used for Soave.
This white variety originated in Burgundy, but is now grown around the world. Its flexibility to thrive in many regions translates to wide flavor profile in the market. Chardonnay is commonly used in making Champagne and sparkling wines.