Not many other cities in the world are surrounded by important and historical wine producing areas as much as Verona is. Valpolicella (with its famous Amarone), Soave, Lugana, Bardolino, Custoza, Durello, can all be easily reached in less than 30 minutes drive from Verona city center, train station or airport.
Verona is located in Veneto, Italian region that produces the largest quantity of quality wines (6 million hectoliters certified as DOC and DOCG in 2018). In less than one hour drive you can also reach famous areas such as Prosecco and Franciacorta.
At www.amaronetours.it we provide fully customisable winery tours in all Verona wine producing areas and surrounding regions. Our tours include transport, English speaking sommellier guide, booking at wineries. Do not hesitate to contact us for your tailor made wine experience.
Valpolicella is one of the oldest wine producing areas in Italy. The Raeti, a pre-roman population that lived in the northern part of the Italian peninsula, cultivated vines and fermented grapes to make wine few centuries before the Christian era. According to some historians, the name Valpolicella might derive from the Latin words Vallis Poli Cellae, meaning valleys of many cellars.
Documents prove that at least since the V century Valpolicella produced a sweet wine made with dried grapes similar to Recioto. Besides Recioto, still produced today, Valpolicella is famous for the full bodied Amarone, also made form dried grapes, for the medium bodied Ripasso. The line is completed by the fruity and easy Valpolicella and other wines made with local and international grape varietals.
Nowadays Valpolicella wine producing region extends over all the hills north of Verona, from the river Adige valley until the volcanic soils of Soave. Besides wines, such an historical area, inhabited by man for thousands of years, offers a wide variety of interesting sights. They can be combined with tasting visits in wineries for a perfect tour. Remains of ancient temples, Middle Age parish churches, castles, Renaissance and Baroque style villas, breathtaking panoramas, together with a tasty traditional cuisine and many local restaurants where you can taste it.
Further information on Valpolicella wine producing region >>
For many years Soave has been the most exported Italian white wine. It is produced around the historical castle of Soave (from which the wine takes the name) and the town of Monteforte d’Alpone, in the Eastern side of Verona province.
Soave is mainly made with Garganega, an indigenous grape varietal. Garganega doesn’t have any overwhelming aromatic characteristics but, on the volcanic soil of Soave hills, it expresses a sharp and pleasant minerality and freshness. Soave comes in a still and dry version, sparkling, or sweet (Recioto di Soave) from semi-dried grapes.
In Roman times, the hill where Soave castle stands, was already an important strategical post along the via Postumia, the main road linking the north-east (Aquileia) with the north west (Milan-Genoa) of Italy.
In the middle age the Scala family, who ruled Verona and the surrounding territory, built an impressive castle to control the area. The Castle, with its keep and the walls embracing the whole village, is still beautifully preserved and can be visited.
Olive oil is also a major product of this area. It is possible to visit one of the many olive mills (frantoio) that offer guided tours and tastings of their best products.
Further information on Soave wine producing area >>
Bardolino wine producing area covers the slopes and the hills of the eastern side of Italian biggest lake: Garda.
Only few kilometers separate Bardolino from Valpolicella. Nevertheless, even with the same blend of grapes, a completely different terroir produces totally different wines. Bardolino is in fact an easy, light, fruity red wine. You can serve it slightly chilled and is perfect to pair charcuterie, medium aged cheese, pasta. Bardolino Chiareto version is one of the few traditional Italian rosé.
Its breathtaking landscapes, mild climate all year round, thermal springs, picturesque villages and islands, castles, archaeological sites, ancient churches, villas, hiking trails, water sports facilities, resorts, golf courses, amusement parks, make Lake Garda one of the main Italian tourist destinations. With a wine tour in Bardolino you can combine a tasting visit to wineries with few stops to some of the most interesting sights on Lake Garda.
Further information on Bardolino wine producing area >>
Lugana is one of the smallest Italian white wine denomination areas. It extends over the southern part of lake Garda, just between the coast and the morainic hills few kilometers south. The soil here is flat, which is unusual for a quality wine region, but highly rich in clay and minerals. The combination with the Turbiana grape varietal and the climate of the lake, produces a tasty and savory wine, with a solid structure and a surprising ageing potential for a white wine. Recently Lugana enjoyed an increasing popularity, both in Italy and abroad.
A wine tour in Lugana area can include a visit to Sirmione, one of the most beautiful town of Garda. It is located on a thin peninsula stretching over the blue lake, with a middle age castle and the archaeological excavations of the biggest Roman villa in northern Italy. Not far from Sirmione you will find Borghetto, a perfect-postcard, fairy tale village, with its old water mills along the river Mincio.
Further information on Lugana wine producing area >>
Custoza is a crisp, fresh and light white wine produced on the morainic hills that surround the southern side of Lake Garda. The name comes from a small town not far from Verona. Every Italian student knows it, because it was the site of a decisive battle during the Italian War of Independence.
The production regulations of the denomination Custoza allow blends of a wide range of white grapes. It can include Garganega, Trebbianello, Bianca Fernanda, Italian Riesling, Malvasia, Pinot Blanc, Chardonnay and Incrocio Manzoni. Some blends result in a very delicate and floral aromatic wine. Custoza is perfect as an aperitif or with fish.
The territory of Custoza is characterised by a beautiful landscape of green rolling hills. Vineyards, olive groves and cypress trees combine in a beautiful picturesque ensable. For those interested in history is possible to visit the memorial of the battle. Close by there are also the villages of Valeggio and Villafranca, with their Middle Age castles.
Together with wine, in Custoza it is also possible to taste the delicate local cuisine, relax cycling on various bike tracks and hiking on the beautiful hills.
In recent years Custoza and the whole southern lake area are becoming popular golf resorts.
Durello, especially in the sparkling version, is the latest entry among the important Veronese wines. It comes from the eastern part of the Lessini mountain range, the pre-Alps of Verona. It is a wild and unspoiled area, mainly volcanic soil, rich in basaltic rocks.
Here, the Durella grape variety fully expresses its characteristics: distinct minerality, high acidity and polyphenolic content.
Durello has often struggled to meet the appreciation of wine enthusiasts, its character was in fact too rough and sour. Hence the intuition that it could be an excellent basis for making sparkling wine with the classic method. Today, success is gradually arriving, both among wine critics and public, even if for the moment only on the Italian market.
Franciacorta is not yet famous on the international wine scene. In Italy, however, for some years now, it has become the most prestigious sparkling wine with traditional method.
Franciacorta is made with Chardonnay and/or Pinot Noir wines, that undergo a second fermentation in the bottle, typical of the traditional sparkling method. Elegance, structure and pleasantness are the qualities that have allowed Franciacorta to succeed even in the most important international competitions.
Franciacorta area extends over the gentle morainic hills of Lake Iseo, in the province of Brescia, between Verona and Milan. It is an area rich in history and natural beauty.
The visit to Franciacorta can combine a visit to one or more cellars, an olive oil tastings in the oil mills of the lake, visits to castles and ancient monasteries, tasty lunches in the many restaurants of the area.
In the past decade Prosecco is the Italian wine that enjoyed the fastest growth on international scene. It is now the most famous Italian spumante (sparkling wine), light, fresh, inexpensive and easy.
Prosecco is made from Glera grape varietal. The sparkling method is the Martinotti (Charmat), where the wine undergos a second fermentation in pressurised steel tanks.
Prosecco wine is produced in a wide area on the hills of the eastern side of Veneto region, mainly around the small towns of Conegliano and Valdobbiadene, less then 2 hours drive from Verona. The area is remote and unspoiled, so beautiful that in 2019 UNESCO declared it World Heritage.
Amarone tours provides escorted winery tours in all Veneto and Verona wine producing regions. We arrange fully customizable winery tours including transport, English speaking sommellier guide, booking in wineries. Do not hesitate to contact us for your tailor made wine tour.
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