Venetian wine has a history dating back some 2,500 years, when grapes were first harvested in the lush fields sweeping throughout the northeastern region of Italy, a broad area known as Veneto. Outside of the capital city of Venice — with all of its interconnected canals and bridges, situated on a network of 118 miniscule islands — countless vineyards produce wines enjoyed internationally.
In ancient times, farmers discovered that Veneto’s rich soils were perfect for the cultivation of a specific type of grape: the white Dorona, which appears to be almost gold in colour and was once prized by royalty. The elite status of the Dorona led to the popularity of white wines in Venice, and today Prosecco is exported en masse and has become a staple of celebrations everywhere, from rural Italian weddings to New Year’s Eve parties on the Upper East Side.
If you are a wine drinker, you are likely not a stranger to the variety of delicacies available from the Veneto region. However, there is something to be said about experiencing these delicacies in their own region, where locals can advise you on the best bites to pair with your favourite wines and where good conversation is likely to flow along with the drinks.
If you are planning a brief stay in Venice and seeking destinations that are a bit off the beaten path, you will be pleased to learn that there is more to this luxurious and historical city than winged lions, bell towers, and gondola rides.
Naturally, these once-in-a-lifetime sights are a crucial part of any Venetian vacation, but once you’ve seen the gleaming mosaics of the Piazzo San Marco at sunrise and taken a stroll across the romantic Rialto Bridge, wine lovers are guaranteed to appreciate winding down their final hours in the City of Canals by indulging in some of the finest that Veneto has to offer.
Since Venice is an exceptionally popular tourist destination and wine tours are an increasing draw to travellers, private tours are ideal — and the more flexibility and exclusivity, the better. There are plenty of wine tours in Venice and the surrounding area, yet we encourage you to do your research before you book; not every tour is created equal, and if you are determined to have a truly relaxing experience, you will need to book a relatively small group. One-on-one attention from guides, personalization opportunities, and a slower pace are only a few of the advantages to booking a small luxury wine tour.
Cicchetti and Wine Walking Tour
The highest rated small group tour in Venice is a guided walking tour through the backstreets of the city — places only the locals are likely to know, giving you a truly authentic look at a city so often painted as majestic and almost inaccessible.
Contrary to the media’s representation of regal Venice, you will find that the locals are unexpectedly friendly and welcoming, particularly after sharing drinks and mingling with them.
The cicchetti and wine tour is organized to ensure that tourists can experience some of Venice’s best local enotacas, or wine bars, and snack on light and tasty mid-afternoon appetizers, or cicchetti. While some bars are more vegetarian-friendly than others, most cicchetti platters include a combination of cured meats, marinated seafood, cheeses, and fresh veggies.
Groups are limited to only fourteen guests at a time, allowing for a highly personal dining experience. You’ll most definitely leave Venice with a full stomach and a few new international friends.
Prosecco Hills Private Day Trip
If you can make the time to travel an hour outside of city limits, this is an incredible opportunity that no true wine lover should pass up.
With pick-up and drop-off in Venice included, this guided winery tour is one of the best options for travellers with a keen interest in learning about the growing and processing techniques involved in wine-making.
You can book a full day in wine country and enjoy samples from two major wineries, selected due to their commitment to excellence and positive reputation among local winemakers. Along with transportation, snacks and bottled water are provided, although you will have to make arrangements for dining on your own. Though lunch is not provided, guides will be more than happy to suggest local restaurants based on your specific tastes.
The Ultimate Aperitivo Wine and Bites Private Tour
Tourists with a preference for flexibility find this tour to be the most enjoyable, and the ability to book a tour just for yourself and your party is a blessing to those who are travelling on their honeymoon or with a group of close friends.
The chance to share in this highly personal and special experience with just your loved ones and one friendly guide makes this the obvious choice for the introverted traveller. In addition, guides are known for their strong knowledge about the culinary history of each stop on the tour, meaning that you will walk away educated on Venetian tradition.
Wine bars will tailor their menu to suit your party, and your guide will give you plenty of time to ask questions. Three appetizers in the aperitivo and cicchetti tradition are included, along with three samplings of sparkling Prosecco.