Veneto is a wine region in north-eastern Italy, one of a group of three highly productive Italian regions known collectively as the Venezie (after the ancient Venetian Republic) and the biggest DOC producer of the three. Although the Venezie collectively produce more red wine than white, the Veneto region produces more whites under DOC and is home to the famous Soave wines.
The region is protected from the harsh northern European climate by the Alps, the foothills of which form the Veneto's northern extremes. These cooler climes are well-suited to white varieties like Garganega (the main grape for Soave wines) while the warmer Adriatic coastal plains and river valleys are where the renowned Valpolicella, Amarone and Bardolino DOC reds are produced.
Veneto's growers are among the most modernised in Italy. While most of the 'classic' wines from this area are based on native grape varieties like Glera (formerly known as Prosecco) and Verduzzo, high demand for Veneto wines in the European and US markets has galvanized the region's producers into experimentation with Cabernets, Chardonnay and Pinot varieties, among others. One of Italy's leading wine schools, Conegliano, is based here and the nation's most important wine fair, Vinitaly, takes place each spring in Verona.
Veneto is the 8th largest region of Italy in land mass, and a population of 4,371,000 ranks it 6th in that regard. It has over 90,000 hectares of vineyards, of which 35,400 being acclaimed DOC. Annual production totals 8,500,000 hectolitres, 1,700,000 or 21% of which is DOC, making it the biggest DOC producer in Italy. White wine accounts for 55% of the DOC production in Veneto.
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