Breadth, history and a range of quality levels all grace the winemaking power that is Italy’s Veneto region. Miles and miles of flat, fertile land make this area perfect for economical and effective winemaking and it’s this type of production that tarnished Veneto’s reputation over the last 20 years or so, with pub upon restaurant chain upon corner shop being filled with watery Pinot Grigio and diluted Prosecco. Thankfully though, there are a number of small, quality-driven, family-run wineries that have been producing wines in the region for decades and who, today, fly the flag for the stunning and varied wines that can be found in Italy’s North East.

With the Alps to the North, the Mediterranean to the south, and Lake Garda in the centre, Veneto’s viticulture is greatly influenced by its surroundings and this results in a large variety of wine styles. Veneto red wines are most famous from the Valpolicella area, where a blend of red grapes is used to make everything from the light and floral Valpolicella Classico to the rich and extracted Amarone della Valpolicella, made from air-dried grapes. Le Salette winery produces exemplary red wines across the Valpolicella styles and is turned to for examples of fruit purity and freshness.

Veneto white wines reach their pinnacle Southeast of here where we find Soave. In the Soave Classico sub-region, small producers grow Garganega grapes on volcanic soils and Montetondo winery is a reason to stop and listen. Their organic Soave Classico has richness, minerality and ripe yet refreshing fruit character that earns its place in any wine rack.

And how could we forget Prosecco, Veneto's sparkling wine. You’ll be forgiven for turning your nose up at the style which has blown up worldwide since the expansion of the appellation in 2008. But head up to the hilly vineyards around Conegliano and Valdobbiadene and there is some serious, terroir-driven juice to be found. Adami winery is one of the region’s leading, premium Prosecco producers and you should chill down a bottle of their Bosco di Gica before writing off the region completely.

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