Wine tourism is becoming increasingly popular as wine lovers choose to visit the terroirs where their favorite wines are produced.
Valdo Winery (Cantina Valdo), located in the town of Valdobbiadene in Veneto, Italy, is a leading producer of sparkling wines and also one of the oldest wine producers in the region. The company produced over 20 million bottles of wine in 2021; about half of this production was exported, including 800,000 bottles to the US
The relatively small (about 50 square miles) but prestigious Conegliano-Valdobbiadene growing area is home to over 150 wine producers, large and small. Most of the families living here are involved in either grape growing or wine production. Plots tend to be small, and vineyards cover steep slopes that are difficult to cultivate, requiring manual rather than mechanical labor.
Not only is this area an ideal growing terroir for the production of Prosecco, the sparkling white wine made from Glera grapes, but it is also an intriguing tourist destination.
To protect this unique cultural landscape, in 2019 the hills and valleys of the Conegliano and Valdobbiadene wine regions were designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Covered with vineyards, the area offers breathtaking views of the landscape, with a checkerboard-like mosaic of different shades of green.
Consortium for the Protection of Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco DOCG (Consorzio per la Tutela del Prosecco di Conegliano e Valdobbiadene) works closely with area producers to protect wine quality, boost the local economy and encourage tourism.
A winery with deep roots
The Bolla family purchased what is now Valdo Winery in 1938 from its founders, The Societa Anonima Vini Superiori, which began producing wine in 1926. Remarkably, more than 90 years and three generations later, it is still family-owned, with Pierluigi Bolla, the founder’s son, at its helm. The name of the winery (Valdo) is a shortened version of the name of the town (Val-dob-bi-adene), which is a mouthful to pronounce even with practice.
The company’s success is largely due to its working partnership with the 70 local winegrowers who sell their grapes to the winery. Valdo supports growers by providing them with technical expertise in agronomy, including advice on the best time to harvest. To maintain its reputation, Valdo maintains quality control of the entire production process – from grape selection to bottling, packaging and marketing.
Valdo has instituted a number of sustainability initiatives aimed at reducing CO2 emissions from fossil fuels, reducing both water and paper consumption, and eliminating the use of the herbicide glyphosate. The company also recently installed a new photovoltaic panel system that promises to reduce energy requirements by 70 percent.
In short, the company aims to balance innovation and technology with regional winemaking traditions – to maintain and improve the quality of their wines while protecting the environment for future generations.
Some of the winery’s most popular sparkling wines include:
Valdo Marca Oro Brut NV it is made with 100% Glera grapes. This age-worthy, easy-drinking Prosecco DOC is not too dry (it has 12 grams of sugar per liter). Straw yellow in color with fine perlage, it has a balanced structure with a fruity scent of lemon and grapefruit. It makes a perfect aperitif with appetizers or seafood dishes.
Valdo Numero 10 Metodo Classico 2019 DOCG, just launched in the USA, is also made with 100% Glera grapes but has a slightly yellower color. The wine goes through a second fermentation in the bottle for 10 months, adding body. It offers taste notes of ripe pears and peaches with hints of honey and figs. Goes well with fish and white meat.
Valdo Marca Oro Brut Rosé DOC is a blend of Glera and Pinot Noir grapes with a persistent perlage, delicate raspberry notes and a long finish. Pink Prosecco DOC was approved for export only in 2020. The Floral edition bottle makes an outstanding gift. It pairs well with pasta and fish dishes.
Cuvée 1926 Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore DOCG is an extra dry wine, produced by the Charmat method with a second fermentation lasting 4-5 months in stainless steel tanks. The name of this wine pays homage to the date the winery was founded, and its grapes come from the most prestigious areas of the DOCG territory. Goes well with risotto, white meat and after dinner with fresh peaches.
Tourism on the Wine Road of the Prosecco Hills
An 80-mile Prosecco Wine Road connects Valdobbiadene, Valdo’s home, and Conegliano, the town that hosts a winemaking school. Whether you travel the route by car, bike or scooter, there are plenty of wineries that welcome tourists, usually by appointment.
In addition to wine tastings and tours and vineyard visits, the 15 charming towns and villages along the way offer visitors slow-travel opportunities to savor local foods and delicacies; visiting cultural, religious and historical sites; and meet producers, winegrowers, traders and other locals steeped in the hospitality and rich traditions of this less touristy part of Italy.
For further information on visiting the Prosecco Hills:
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