A wine tour to Veneto: indulge in amarone, relish Valpolicella and rediscover Soave
– The focus of this wine tour is Amarone, Valpolicella, and Soave, the famous wines of Veneto. The amarones of Valpolicella have attained cult status and were recently given the much sought after DOCG status. Both amarone and “normal” Valpolicella are very popular with wine enthusiasts around the world. Soave is also one of Italy’s most interesting white wines. today it is far from the neutral wine it once was. Based in the beautiful and elegant city of Verona, with its famous Roman arena, we will visit the different wine regions in Veneto and go in depth into all these wines and the Italian gastronomy
Veneto in north-eastern Italy is one of the biggest and most active wine regions in the country. It is by far the biggest producer of the quality wines with DOC and DOCG denominations. The vineyards are mostly located around Verona, the home town of Romeo and Juliet, but the wines are in no way tragic! Especially not today when most producers have set a very high quality standard.
Veneto is a very exciting wine region today. It has transformed from a land of unpretentious, easy-drinking wines to one where you find complex, full-bodied wines, often with a great potential for ageing. This is not least the case for the great success story called Amarone della Valpolicella that has but the region on most wine lovers’ map.
We will take a look at the very peculiar wine making tradition that are used to make amarone, with appassimento (drying of the grapes) and we will taste numerous amarones. It is an occasion to get a very good understanding of what amarone is and the different styles that the wineries make.
Just as exciting is the quality renaissance that the “normal” wines (not made from dried grapes) have achieved. Today you find top quality wines from both Soave, Valpolicella (without “amarone”) and Bardolino as well as other neighbouring districts.
Veneto is not far from Emilia Romagna that is very well known for its gastronomic specialities: the ham and the cheese. We will certainly have the opportunity to taste the delicious prosciutto di parma, the dry-cured ham from Parma, as well as other wonderful charcuteries from northern Italy, and the parmesan cheese. Or to be correct parmigiano reggiano. It even exists in a vintage version!
Verona is not only the home town of Romeo and Juliet (there is a court yard where you can see the ill-fated balcony) but also a very wealthy and prosperous city. In the old city centre there are plenty of luxurious fashion and shoe shops. And many, many restaurants of course.
Verona is a city rich in history. There is the almost intact Roman arena, famous also for its opera performances. Not very long ago they also discovered a Roman theatre that is currently being excavated. The old town with its winding streets is a gem to be discovered!
We will have Verona as a base, a wonderful town with its amphitheatre, the renaissance palaces and the narrow alleys.
We will have three gastronomic lunches together, mostly at wineries, as private guests of the owners. Evenings are free to discover Verona and the many cafés, bars and restaurants. We have many favourites that we will be glad to share with you.
The tour is led by one of BKWine’s wine and travel expert guides.
We have written a lot about Veneto and about wine touring in the region, what to do and what to expect.
Here you can find more about travelling in the wine regions of Veneto, tasting amarone and more.
You can also find more information on Veneto, Valpolicella, Amarone etc on BKWine Magazine.
A few videos from some of our visits:
On our wine tour to Veneto (with Valpolicella and amarone, as well as Soave, Bardolino etc) we have lunch at the Marchesi Fumanelli (Tenuta di Squarano) winery together with the owner the marquis, and his wife. Sitting around the lunch table in the courtyard of the 15th century castle we enjoy a long Italian lunch with plenty of Italian delicacies. We start with Marchesi Fumanelli’s powerful white wine, unusual in the Valpolicella district. An excellent occasion to try out different food and wine pairings. Before lunch we had a walk in the garden and the vineyard and then a visit to the wine cellar and the amarone drying room.
We are standing on the roof of the Pieropan winery, together with Andrea Pieropan, owner and winemaker, in the centre of the Soave village. From the Pieropan winery we have a stunning view over the Soave castle, Medieval but still privately owned and inhabited. We have made a tour of the winery, including the grape drying room and cellar and will soon go to taste the wines. The wines of Soave have undergone a tremendous quality renaissance in recent years!
Program – wine tour Amarone, Veneto, Valpolicella, Soave
This is a sample program, an example. Every wine and food tour that we organise is different and specially adapted for the season and the circumstances. Details in the program, e.g. which producers we visit, will be different each time.
For more details, contact BKWine.
- Wednesday – arrival in Veneto
- Thursday – We start with amarone in Valpolicella and also Bardolino by the Lake Garda
- Friday – Soave, now one of the most exciting white wines in Italy
- Saturday – Amarone and Valpolicella in depth
- Sunday – heading back home
Wednesday / Day 1 – arrival in Verona
Arrival in Verona and check-in at our centrally located comfortable three star hotel.
The hotel is very close to the centre, just a few minutes walk from the Roman Arena and from Piazza Bra, and along the way there is a nice wine bar.
Verona is a thriving and elegant northern Italian city. It is filled to the brim with history and sights: the Roman Arena and theatre, the Castello by the river, the two big squares that are the hubs of the old town, Piazza Bra and Piazza delle Erbe etc. You can stroll around for hours on the narrow streets and all the time discover new things.
Verona also has plenty of cafés and restaurants. It is a good idea, after having finished your aperitif, to walk a few blocks away from the Piazza delle Erbe that is really quite crowded with tourists, and look for the evening’s genuine Italian restaurant on one of the small streets. Almost wherever you go you will find something that gives you that typically Italian welcomed feeling.
Evening is free: take a walk in the old city centre.
Thursday / Day 2 – Amarone, Valpolicella, Bardolino
Distances are short in Veneto so today we will have the time to go to both Valpolicella and to Bardolino.
Bardolino wines come from the hills around the eponymous town on the shore of the Lake Garda, known for its mild climate. We will visit Le Fraghe, a small, family-owned quality producer making aromatic and refreshing Bardolinos. It belongs to the Poggi family since the 1880s. It is in the hands of the charismatic Matilde Poggi since 1984 and quality has shot up in her hands.
Matilde will present us with a different kind of tasting: she will show us the difference between wines that have been bottled with a “natural” cork and with a screw cap. A topic very much on today’s wine agenda. The result is really interesting, and perhaps surprising. We will also taste the full range of her wines of course.
We continue to Valpolicella. The vineyards for this region is cuddling up close to Verona, sometimes on terraced hillsides. The climate is favourable not only to get ripe grapes at harvest but also to dry the grapes in autumn and winter, what is called appassimento in Italy. This is the very unusual winemaking technique that is used to make the dry amarone and the sweet recioto.
We will visit the Rubinelli Vajol winery where we will feast on a magnificent gourmet lunch presenting typical Veronese dishes, and cheese and charcuteries. Perhaps we will enjoy the incredible barbecued entrecôte, made on the garden grill.
One more winery visit is on the agenda in the Valpolicella region before we head back to Verona.
The evening is free.
Perhaps you will take a look at the spectacular Roman arena on the Piazza Bra, just a few minutes walk from the hotel. And continue the stroll down to the Piazza delle Erbe for an aperitif and perhaps dinner by the river?
Friday / Day 3 – Soave
Soave Superiore was awarded the prestigious DOCG denomination, the highest quality label in Italy, a few years ago, just like amarone. There has been a virtual explosion of quality wine-making in the region. Perhaps you remember, just like me, Soaves from 20 years ago as rather neutral wines? Well, that is no longer the case! Soave, just like Valpolicella, has transformed itself into a region where the wineries pat all their effort into character-full and high-quality wines.
We will visit some of the top estates in Soave, like the dynamic Coffele, on the main street of the small Soave village, Pieropan, just across the street, or the young and almost rebellious Stefano Menti of the Giovanni Menti winery in Gambellara, a neighbour to Soave that so far only the very well informed have discovered!
For lunch we will knock on the door of the La Cappuccina winery in Costalunga di Monteforte. An exciting family property where the gastronomic menu degustazione will be prepared by one of the brothers in the family who runs one of the best restaurants in the region. The other brother is the winemaker and the sister is in charge of marketing. The Tessari family makes aromatic and elegant Soaves but are also doing some exciting experiments with sauvignon blanc, cabernet sauvignon, and carmenère (!).
Late afternoon we will return to Verona and the evening is free. Perhaps it is time to try some of our favourite restaurants with Veronese specialities, or why not a visit to the city’s best pizzeria? We’ll give you our best addresses!
Saturday / Day 4 – Valpolicella and amarone
Today is dedicated to Valpolicella and to amarone. We will start the day with a visit at Villa Bellini, a small organic winery run by the incredibly dynamic Cecilia Trucchi.
The winery is beautifully located on a hillside overlooking the rolling Valpolicella hills. Cecilia makes Valpolicellas that are very spicy and black cassis in aromas, with her own designs on the labels. Incredibly she also has the time to hands-on renovate the renaissance villa where we will taste her wines.
For lunch we will pay a visit to the Squarano Estate that belongs to Marchesi Fumanelli. This is a spectacular property in the middle of the Valpolicella vineyards, with a view certainly worthy of a marquis. The family has been making wine here since 1470…
We will of course have time for a quick visit of the vineyards and the wine cellar, and perhaps even the appassimento grape drying attic before we sit down for a luxurious multi-course lunch accompanied by the estate’s wines. The Marchese and his wife usually makes a point of being at home when we come to visit to take us around the property and to join us for lunch.
The third and last visit of the day, after lunch, will be at a small family-owned vineyard, with a very ambitious winemaker, in the beautiful Monte Fumane hills. And then it is time to say goodbye to the Valpolicella vines and go back to Verona for our last evening in this beautiful city.
The evening is free in Verona.
Sunday / Day 5 — Heading back home
The tour ends after breakfast. Departure.
Program may be subject to minor modifications.
Tour Details – Wine tour to Veneto: amarone, Valpolicella, Soave
Price per person: This is a sample program. Look in the menu “Our Tours > Scheduled Tours” to check what scheduled tours are currently on the program or contact us to discuss a custom made private wine tour.
Included in the price:
- 4 hotel nights, double occupancy, including breakfast:
- Centrally located hotel in Verona
- Meals as described in the program above (*):
- 3 gastronomic multi-course lunches, including wines, at wineries or local restaurants
- Start and end point: Verona
- Bus transport during the whole trip
- All vineyard and winery visits
- Private, high quality tastings at wineries, approx. 3 per day
- Interpretation from Italian as needed, some visits may be in English, others in Italian
- Wine guiding and wine tutoring by an expert BKWine guide
(*) See below for more important information on our meals.
- Travel (flights) to the destination and back from your home location.
You organise your travel to the destination yourself. If you want assistance with organising your flight tickets etc, please contact us.
We warmly recommend that you plan a few extra days here if you have the time! It is a very interesting place and well worth some “non-wine” tourism too! We can assist you with booking additional hotel nights if you want.
Book This Tour
You book by contacting Britt Karlsson, BKWine:
- phone: +33 1 58 88 04 66 or +33 6 80 45 35 70 (+33 is the country code for France)
- email: info at bkwine dot com
- skype: bkwine
More on our wine tours
About the wine producers and wineries we visit
Our aim is that you shall experience some of the best and most interesting that the wine region has to offer, both of wine and food.
We put a big effort into finding and creating outstanding winery visits. Often it will not be the most “famous” and internationally well-known wineries that will give you the best and most unique experiences…
It is usually when you get to meet the winemaker or winery owner himself (or often herself) that the visits become really exciting. And perhaps we even meet the whole family at the estate.
You start discussing and start to understand what it is they do and why in the winery and in the vineyard. Maybe we will also have lunch in the winery or at their home. Need we say we invariably have private wine tastings at the wineries?
That is why our trips are not “jam packed” with visits at wineries. Nevertheless we often run short of time since the discussions – and the wine tastings – can easily become very engaging…
Our wine country tours typically include a mix of small family producers, exclusive boutique wineries and larger internationally well-known wine estates, all selected with great care so that it will give you a unique experience of the people and of the behind-the-scenes in the winery and a good understanding of the wine district’s characteristics, tradition and culture.
At the time of publishing a travel program not all visits have been finalised. We are continuously working on improving the program. The domaines / wineries / châteaux that we visit on a tour may therefore sometimes differ from what was written in the original program. Contact us if you want more details, or if you have any special requests.
On meals: food and gastronomy
Wine and food are intimately linked. That is part of our wine travel philosophy; wine is an integral part of the gastronomy.
A wine tour with BKWine will therefore also be a gastronomic experience.
The meals that are included in a tour with BKWine are on a gourmet level and of very high standard.
Sometimes we will have a meal with a winemaker, perhaps in the wine cellar or at the winery, or even in their home. This is a unique experience that is generally not open to other visitors to wineries. It is an occasion to experience exciting combinations of food and wine while discussing with the people who made the wine.
Sometimes we will have a luxurious meal at a gourmet restaurant. At other times it may be not at a prestigious luxury address but at a local restaurant selected for its presentation of local gastronomic specialities, its atmosphere and its quality – a place where locals go. Or perhaps it will be a buffet lunch made at home by the winemaker and his wife. In all cases we want to show you local gastronomic specialities and the local food and wine pairings.
Do not expect a picnic with salad and sausage from the supermarket and wine in plastic mugs… Think instead of a wine-and-dine experience with specially composed menu with three or four courses and delicious wines.
A wine tour with BKWine is also a culinary experience both for the wine enthusiast and for the gourmet. A gourmet wine tour!
Why travel with BKWine?
We are experts and specialists in wine and food tours and wine tourism, but also in wine in a broader perspective.
No other tour operator has a comparable knowledge and experience of wine, wine regions, wine tours and gourmet travel as BKWine.
We have organised hundreds of wine and food tours. This is what we love to do, because it is fun and exciting. What we want more than anything is to share with you all these wonderful experiences.
It does not matter if you are “a total novice” on wine and food or if you have a life-long experience in the wine sector. We will give you a very special experience, in a way that no other tour operator can do.
We write in specialised wine magazines and one of our books has won the prize as best wine book in the world. We are regularly called on to be part of judging panels in wine competitions.
We personally visit some 300 vineyards every year. We have organised several hundreds of wine and food tours with an experience going back more than twenty years. We are invited as speakers at wine tourism and culinary touring conferences.
We choose our tour destinations and winery visits with great care. Not because a winery happens to be carrying a “famous name” but because they will give our guests — you! — a unique and special experience. You may be looking for a short wine week-end holiday or a longer wine vacation; in all cases you can be confident that you will get a top quality tour, an experience of a lifetime. Or at least one that will last you until the next time you come on a wine tour with BKWine. Many of our travellers are returning clients.
A wine and food tour with BKWine is always guided by a knowledgeable and experienced BKWine guide and tour manager, someone who knows the ins and outs of wine, of the local gastronomy, of the culture and who speaks the language.
Some accolades we at BKWine and our wine and food tours have received:
- “World’s Top Wine Tours” by Travel + Leisure Magazine, the world’s biggest travel magazine
- “Best wine tasting holidays”, AOL Travel’s list of top wine tours
- “Recommended Wine Tours” by Munskankarna, the world’s biggest wine tasting and wine appreciation association
- “World’s Best Wine Book for Professionals” as well as “Best Wine Book of the Year” in Sweden 2010 for the book The Creation of a Wine
- “Best wine book for Professionals” again in 2012 in Sweden, as well as silver, runner-up, as “World’s Best Educational Wine Book” for the book Wine and the Environment
- “Wine Personality of the Year” by Munskankarna, the world’s biggest wine tasting and wine appreciation association
- On the Wine Media Power List by Wine Business International Magazine (Britt, 2012)
Read more on why to choose BKWine for a wine and food tour.
Read more on what previous travellers have said about our tours.
Our groups are always small. The group size may vary, sometimes maximum 8, sometimes 20, but always of a modest size (we do not do “minimum 20, maximum 45”). Check the details in each program. This is important since it guarantees a quality experience and a personal welcome at the wineries we visit.
BKWine is a Swedish registered travel organiser. BKWine has a bonded travel guarantee deposit so that you can feel safe when booking with us. We fully comply with European and Swedish travel guarantee regulations. British travellers may be familiar with the ABTA (Association of British Travel Agents) protection scheme which is a similar model. BKWine follows the code of conduct and financial safeguards defined by the Swedish Consumer Agency and The Legal, Financial and Administrative Services Agency (“Kammarkollegiet”, with a history dating back to 1539). Read more about this in our Booking Terms and Conditions.
Read the BKWine Booking Terms and Conditions here. They are important to you!
You organise your travel independently to the destination for most of our tours but on location we take care of everything.
For more inspiration
Read our wine travel blog. And also:
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- There are thousands of pictures from previous trips on BKWine Photography
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We also do custom wine and food tours if you want to choose different dates or if you want something different than what we currently offer on our scheduled tours – for individuals, companies, professionals, wine tastings clubs etc.