The hills of Prosecco of Conegliano and Valdobbiadene are located in Veneto in a hilly area in the Treviso province, and from July 2019 are UNESCO’s world heritage site. They are the 55th Italian site to have become part of UNESCO’s world heritage thanks to the unique features of the landscape and the ability of man in taking advantage of its resources.
How are the hills of Prosecco of Conegliano and Valdobbiadene structured?
The area between the towns of Conegliano and Valdobbiadene has a singular geo-morphological conformation, called “hogback”, featuring steep slopes alternating with small valleys. This recognition makes official the great value of this Italian region where since the XVI century men have managed to enhance the potential of the territory using smart agricultural techniques.
The Hills of Prosecco of Conegliano and Valdobbiadene are characterized by small vineyards on grassy terracings, called ciglioni, built to remedy the steep slope of the territory. The steeper areas are next to those that feature a geometric disposition of the vines, which are cultivated with the “bellussera” technique. It still allows for wine-growing to be exclusively manual and it creates a mosaic of vines that perfectly match, in harmony, the surrounding woods.
The prestigious wine production
The most famous wine of the area is the Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore DOCG, whose designation is a proof of the highest quality it comes with. It is characterized by a straw-yellow color and fruity and flowery hints and it is produced in other versions too: sumante, sparkling, and still. Spumante is one of the most sold and known products at international level and it can be Brut, Extra dry and Dry.
Among the other productions there are also:
- Valdobbiadene Superiore di Cartizze DOCG which is a refined wine, with fruity hints and a very subtle sweetness to it, produced in a small area of only 107 hectares;
- Colli di Conegliano DOCG rosso, with an intense and robust taste, it is made from Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Marzemino and Merlot grapes;
- Colli di Conegliano DOCG bianco is the result of a blend of Incrocio Manzoni and of Pinot Bianco or Chardonnay, its limited production makes it a very high-end and sough-after wine;
- Refrontolo Passito DOCG is a dessert wine both sparkling and scented;
- Torchiato di Fregona DOCG, also called Vin Santo because it is made during the holy week, is bittersweet and very tasty;
- Verdiso IGT comes from a vineyard with a dry, bitter and slightly fruity taste and it is made in the versions still, sparkling, spumante, and passito.
Wine routes amidst breathtaking panoramas
The Hills of Prosecco of Conegliano and Valdobbiadene feature a lot of wine routes, in particular Strada del Prosecco (the road of the prosecco): the first itinerary dedicated to wine produced in Italy. It is 90 km long and can be explored by car, bike or on foot immersing yourself in a natural landscape filled with vineyards alternating with small old towns. Along the road there are more than 180 wineries where you can taste local wine and food products and have a direct contact with the producers that explain the history of this Italian excellence. Wine tasting is usually accompanied by some sampling of local cold cuts: prosciutto crudo, ossocollo, pancetta, pepperoni and sopressa vicentina served with wood-fired bread.
One of the main traits of this path is the Anello del Prosecco Superiore (ring of the Prosecco Superiore) that unfolds around the town of Valdobbiadene for about 15 km, with paths of varying length to meet any kind of athletic level. The nice route goes through Santo Stefano, Guia and San Pietro di Barbozza and it is one of the points of the road where you can check out beautiful and amazing panoramas. A must-see is the town of Conegliano: in addition to the beautiful medieval architecture and nobilty-owned palaces, it also offers the first Italian wine school (Scuola Enologica d’Italia), founded in 1876, where it is possible to visit the Wine Workshop and the Wine Museum.
Featured Image: Col Vetoraz