The Venice region is rich (in numbers and quality) of both traditional and modern wineries. Today we will focus on a specific area called Euganean Hills, a national park just 30 miles west of the island. On these ancient volcanic hills we grow among the best vineyards in the country, and these wines are gaining popularity around the world year by year. Here you can also find a lot of french grapes, such as Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. The story goes that, at the beginning of the 19th century, a rich family from the hills went to Bordeaux (France) and they took some seeds to plant them on our vineyards. Since then we kept producing both italian and french grapes in this area, but keep in mind that the end product of an Euganean Merlot is definitely different from a French Merlot. This is due to different soils and different techniques for growing grapes and aging wines.
Some of the most famous Euganean varieties are: Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Carmenere, Raboso (for reds) and Garganega, Glera, Moscato, Pinot Bianco, Chardonnay, Souvignon Blanc (for whites).
Let’s start with the selection of the best Euganean Wines!
Fior d’Arancio (DOCG)
This is the only DOCG wine from the Euganean Hills, meaning this wine can only be made in this specific location, for copyrights. Fior D’Arancio (The Orange Blossom) a 100% white Moscato wine, and it usually served as a “spumante”, italian for sparkling. Since this wine is only aged for 6 months, it does not have the time to turn all its sugars into alcohol. That’s why this is a rather sweet dessert wine which most people enjoy after lunch or dinner.
Colli Euganei Rosso (DOC)
This is the first DOC of our list, meaning that producers have to follow very strict rules in order to keep the high quality of this wine to its standards. This is a red wine made by a blend of 2 or 3 different grapes: mostly Merlot and Cabernet, but sometimes it can include Raboso or Carmenere. It is usually aged for 1 year in a stainless steel barrel and/or 1 year in a wooden barrel, before being bottled. You can also find the “riserva” version of the Colli Euganei Rosso (aged for 2 years or more). This wine is particularly good with aged cheeses and beef or pork.
Colli Euganei Bianco (DOC)
This is a white wine made by a blend of many indigenous grapes to the Euganean Hills. Some of the varieties you can find here are: Garganega, Moscato, Pinot Bianco and Chardonnay. This wine is perfect with fish dishes and with young cheeses.
Remember also to try the single blends of Merlot,Cabernet and Raboso (for red wines) and the single blends of Chardonnay and Sauvignon for white wines. If you want to organise a wine tour of the hills don’t hesitate to contact us on Vidal Venice Tours, we will make you discover the very best of our wineries.