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Venice to Amarone: gourmet wine tour
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Venice to Amarone: gourmet wine tour

offered by supplier M08242 (read about supplier)

Key Information:
Tour Duration: 5 day(s)
Group Size: 2 - 14 people
Destination(s): Italy  
Specialty Categories: Food & Wine   Archeology/History  
Season: July - October
Airfare Included: No
Tour Customizable: No
Minimum Per Person Price: 2895 US Dollar (USD)
Maximum Per Person Price: 3195 US Dollar (USD)

Since antiquity, semi-dried grapes have worked their magic in Valpolicella, the wine zone near Verona. Today, Amarone prevails as the most luscious modern expression of this ancient style. Discover its many facets, along with the new face of Soave, which has enjoyed a renaissance in quality. In addition, explore Verona, home to Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, impressive Roman ruins, and lovely painted facades.

Dates: June 30–July 5 / October 13–17

• Explore two adjacent wine regions: Valpolicella, home of Amarone; and Soave, where a renaissance in quality whites is underway
• Enjoy private, sit-down tastings at the Zenato, Tommasi, Accordini, Bertani, Pieropan & more
• See Padua and Giotto’s magnificent fresco cycle in the Arena Chapel
• Soak up some history on a walking tour of Verona

We meet in Venice at the Piazzale Roma (the only place in the City of Water reachable by car). Then it’s an hour’s drive to Padua, a gracious Renaissance city whose university was the cradle of modern medicine, thanks to its pioneering anatomical dissections. In Padua, we’ll visit a masterpiece of the Early Renaissance: Giotto’s frescos in the Arena Chapel, a floor-to-ceiling depiction of the life of the Virgin, whose full-bodied, emotive figures opened the door to Renaissance humanist art. We then continue west to Soave, an ancient fortified city. In the shadow of its crenellated castle, one finds Pieropan, the producer who spearheaded Soave’s rescue. Those who remember Soave as a bland, flabby, mass-produced white are in for a big surprise. Today’s renditions can be concentrated and full of minerality thanks to rigorous winemaking techniques combined with old-vine garganega and volcanic, balsamic, or sea-bottom soils. At Pieropan we’ll also be introduced to the drying techniques (appassimento) that partially raisin the grapes, readying them for a heavenly passito dessert wine. Afterwards, we’ll head to our charming accommodations at an Amarone winery called Musella, situated on a former royal farmstead outside of Verona. Dinner in town introduces the cuisine of the Veneto, which includes such dishes as risotto with cuttlefish (risotto nero), pasta and bean soup (pasta e fasoi), thick spaghetti with duck ragout (bigoli con l’anatra), and the beloved Venetian tiramisu. D

This morning is devoted to a guided walking tour of Verona. This lovely, riverfront city was an important Roman colony, and that history is visible in an impressive Roman coliseum, Imperial city gate, and other traces of Roman architecture incorporated into later buildings. Our guide will walk us through the city’s most important squares, past significant churches and statues, into the bustling Piazze delle Erbe outdoor market with its colorfully frescoed buildings, and into the courtyard when Juliet Capulet waited for Romeo on her balcony. After lunch, we’ll head to the Valpolicella wine zone, arrayed over five valleys to the north and east of Verona. Today we’ll be focusing on the older, classic territory for Amarone. One of Italy’s most magnificent and coveted red wines, it’s made from partially dried grapes following a tradition as old as the Romans. And we’ll start to see that laborious process at Tommasi, a fourth-generation winery that makes benchmark Valpolicella Ripasso, Amarone, and Recioto. The lesson will continue at another winery: either Stefano Accordini in Pedemonte, or Viviani in Negrar. Both are examples of small, family-run estates that characterize Valpolicella. Throughout the day, you’ll get an ever-clearer picture of the different techniques involved in making Valpolicella, Ripasso, Amarone, and Recioto, four variations on an ancient theme. Dinner is at a local trattoria. B, D

Today focuses on Amarone’s up-and-coming zone, which lies on the eastern side of town. Climbing a long hill, we’ll visit Trabucchi in the town of Illasi. This estate simply has one of the most beautiful settings around. Because it has parcels in both the Valpolicella and Soave zones, we’ll be able to taste wines from both territories—and great ones at that. Their line-up includes stellar garganega cru and Recioto di Soave (a passito dessert wine), all made according to biodynamic methods, as is their olive oil. On another ridge with another incredible view is Tenuta Sant’ Antonio. This is a relatively new estate run by four brothers. Originally they planned to open a chicken farm; you can be happy they didn’t! Their dedication and care in the vineyard and cellar has resulted in wines that repeatedly earn Tre Bicchieri awards—the Oscars of Italian wine. Afterwards, we’ll return to the hotel to relax at the pool or courtyard garden. Dinner is on your own in Verona. B

About 17 miles west of Valpolicella lies Lake Garda, the largest lake in Italy, which was carved out by alpine glaciers at the end of the last Ice Age. At its southern end is the ancient fortified town of Sirmione. The Roman poet Catulus had a villa here, and the ruins of a Roman spa still exist. Sirmione is also home to a 13th century castle and popular sulfur springs. Today we’ll spend some time sightseeing here, then taste some wines from Lugana, the wine zone south of Lake Garda that dates all the way back to the Bronze Age. Zenato will be our winery of choice, since it owns vineyards both here and in Valpolicella and makes wines ranging from a champenoise-style Lugana Brut to a mind-blowing Amarone with waves of raisin and dark cherry. We’ll then return to the Amarone Classico zone and visit Bertani, the oldest winery in Verona, making wine since 1857. We’ll visit their Villa Novare estate and its beautiful Palladian-style villa. Our farewell dinner is in Verona, the beautiful Painted City. B, D

Shuttle to the Verona train station and assistance with your travel plans.

Member discount:
10% discount for InfoHub customer.  Request a free gift certificate.

Airfare is not included in the tour price.

Price Includes:
- All wine tastings
- Beakfast buffet
- All dinners.

About This Supplier
Photos: Next »
Location: USA
Joined InfoHub: Apr 2000
Client Request Served: 207

M08242 is the leading specialist in Italian wine tours. We believe the best way to enjoy and learn about wine is on location, close to the land and the people who produced it. Our Italian wine tours provide full immersion in Italy's wine culture, offering an enjoyable learning experience for wine enthusiasts of...

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