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Located in the northeastern part of Italy, Veneto is a winemaking region that is part of the “Tre Venezie” (which also includes Friuli-Venezia Giulia and Trentino-Alto Adige). The foothills of the Alps form the northern border of Veneto. In general, there are two vastly different types of winemaking influences in Veneto – the Alpine and Germanic influence (from the north) and the Roman influence (from the south).
Veneto is split into two different wine zones, the eastern zone (which includes the Venice Lagoon) and the western zone (which includes Garda Lake and the city of Verona). The most popular wines from Veneto include Valpolicella, Amarone, Soave (made from the Garganega grape), and Prosecco. Valpolicella is the only Italian DOC to rival Chianti in terms of overall production, and its fruity, red wines are extremely popular. Soave, a refreshing white wine, is also extremely popular, as is Prosecco, a sparkling wine. Today, Soave and Prosecco are the wines most popularly associated with Veneto.
In terms of overall wine production, Veneto is the biggest DOC producer in Italy. Approximately 20-25% of all wine produced comes from DOC regions. In fact, even the canal city of Venice, not normally thought of as a wine-producing city, has its own DOC (Venezia). White wines account for just over half (55%) of all production. The cooler alpine temperatures in Veneto are particularly suited to producing fresh, crisp white wines.
Interestingly, Veneto is smaller than more famous Italian wine regions such as Tuscany or Piedmont but produces more wine than any of them. Overall, the 20th century saw a shift in Italian wine production from the south (Sicily, Puglia) to the north (Veneto).