When it comes to Italian wine regions, many oenophiles immediately think of Tuscany or Piedmont. However, there are numerous hidden gems for Italian wines scattered throughout the country, and one of these is the charming wine region of Asolo. It’s most famous for sparkling wine but there’s more here. Located in Veneto in the northeastern part of the country, Asolo is a place where history, culture, and exceptional wines converge. In this wine region profile, we'll explore the rich heritage and remarkable wines that make Asolo a destination worth discovering.
A Glimpse into Asolo's History
Asolo, often referred to as the "City of a Hundred Horizons," is a small and picturesque town with a history dating back to Roman times. Its strategic location in the hills between the Veneto and Friuli regions has made it a crossroads for trade and culture for centuries.
One of the most iconic landmarks in Asolo is the Queen Cornaro Castle, a magnificent medieval fortress perched atop a hill, offering breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape. It was once the residence of Caterina Cornaro, the Queen of Cyprus, who chose Asolo as her home in the 15th century. Her patronage attracted artists, writers, and intellectuals to the town, creating a vibrant cultural scene that still resonates today.
Asolo's wine production is primarily centered around the charming town of Asolo itself and the nearby rolling hills. The region benefits from a unique terroir characterized by a combination of factors that contribute to the quality of its wines:
Asolo enjoys a mild climate with significant temperature variations between day and night. This diurnal temperature range is conducive to the development of complex flavors and aromas in the grapes. The soil in Asolo is a mix of clay, limestone, and marl. These mineral-rich soils provide excellent drainage and impart distinct characteristics to the wines. The vineyards in Asolo are situated at varying elevations, ranging from 150 to 350 meters (490 to 1,150 feet) above sea level. This altitude variation allows for a diverse range of grape varieties to thrive.
Asolo is known for producing a variety of grape varieties, both red and white, but the shining star of the region, which you should known when you buy wine online, is the Glera grape. Glera is the primary grape used to make Prosecco Superiore, a sparkling wine renowned for its elegance and finesse. Consider the Bele Casel Asolo Prosecco Superiore Extra Dry DOCG.
In addition to Glera for Prosecco, other grape varieties grown in Asolo include:
- Pinot Grigio: Known for its crispness and citrusy notes, Pinot Grigio thrives in Asolo's climate and is used to make refreshing white wines.
- Merlot: This red grape variety produces smooth, fruit-forward wines with soft tannins and a hint of spice. Merlot is often used in Asolo's red blends.
- Cabernet Sauvignon: Asolo's Cabernet Sauvignon wines are characterized by dark fruit flavors, a firm structure, and aging potential.
Asolo's wine production is diverse, offering a range of styles to suit various preferences:
- Prosecco Superiore: The most famous wine from Asolo, Prosecco Superiore, is celebrated for its fine bubbles, floral aromas, and crisp acidity. It is available in various styles when you order wine online, from the dry "Brut" to the sweeter "Demi-Sec."
- Still White Wines: Asolo's white wines, made from Glera, Pinot Grigio, and other grape varieties, are known for their freshness and bright fruit flavors.
- Red Wines: The red wines of Asolo, often blends of Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon, showcase the region's ability to produce structured and complex reds with aging potential.
Wine Tourism in Asolo
Asolo has increasingly become a destination for wine enthusiasts seeking an authentic Italian wine experience. Visitors can explore the charming town, stroll through the historic streets, and enjoy the panoramic views from the Queen Cornaro Castle.
Wine tourists are also welcomed with open arms at the many wineries and vineyards dotting the region. Here, you can take guided tours to learn about the winemaking process, from grape to bottle. Tastings allow you to savor the flavors of Asolo wines, accompanied by local culinary delights that pair perfectly with the wines.
The local enoteche, or wine bars, provide an opportunity to sample a wide range of wines from Asolo and the surrounding regions. These cozy establishments offer a convivial atmosphere where you can engage with fellow wine lovers and discover new favorites.Overall, Asolo, Italy, may not be as well-known as some of its Italian wine-producing counterparts, but it offers a unique and enchanting experience for wine enthusiasts and travelers alike. With its rich history, diverse terroir, and exceptional wines, Asolo is a region that deserves a place on your wine journey's map. Whether you're a fan of sparkling Prosecco Superiore, elegant white wines, or robust reds, Asolo has something to delight every palate. So, raise a glass to this hidden gem in the Veneto region, and savor the beauty and flavor of Asolo, Italy. Salute!