Veneto: amarone, Valpolicella, Soave Wine Tour

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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.

Program    |    Travel facts    |    Book    |    More on the tour

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Next wine tour to Veneto-Valpolicella-Soave:

  • Contact us!

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.

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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.

Hills, vineyards, and villages in Veneto
Hills, vineyards, and villages in Veneto, copyright BKWine Photography

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.

The arena in Verona
The arena in Verona, copyright BKWine Photography

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More travel information

Here are some useful pages and guides about this travel destination:

Even more info

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.

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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!


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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.

Program overview

  • 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.

The arena in Verona
The arena in Verona, copyright BKWine Photography

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?

The Le Fraghe vineyard in Bardolino, Veneto, Italy
The Le Fraghe vineyard in Bardolino, Veneto, Italy, copyright BKWine Photography

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!

The old castle in Soave
The old castle in Soave, copyright BKWine Photography

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.

Grapes drying on shelves for amarone during appassimento
Grapes drying on shelves for amarone during appassimento

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Tour Details – Wine tour to Veneto: amarone, Valpolicella, Soave

Dates: 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.

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.

Not included:

  • 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.

For this trip to take place we must have a minimum of 4 participants registered at the “book before” date. Maximum number of travel guests: 8.

Book This Tour

Book before: [this is a sample programme]

Booking is confirmed by paying the booking fee of [sample programme, this varies by trip]. Full payment should be received at the latest [sample programme, usually one month or 60 days, depending on the trip] before the departure date (see our terms and conditions). Details on how to pay will be sent to you when you register.

It is important that your read our travel booking terms and conditions.

We also invite you to read more on why you should travel with BKWine, about customer protection, and about what you can expect from our wine tours in the section below “More on our wine tours”.

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)
  • Skype: “bkwine”. Call us on skype.
  • email: info@bkwine.com, or use the contact form below

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More on our wine tours

Why travel with BKWine?

We are Britt and Per Karlsson. We are specialists in wine and food tours and wine tourism, but also experts in wine in general. We are internationally published wine writers and have written ten award-winning wine books.

No other tour operator has a comparable knowledge and experience of wine, wine regions, wine tourism and gourmet travel.

We have organised hundreds of wine and food tours, and this is what we love to do. We take it very seriously – it is not a sideline or a hobby – and what we want more than anything is to share all these wonderful experiences with you.

All our tours are led and managed by guides who have in-depth wine knowledge, and in many cases we lead the tours ourselves.

Read more on why you should choose BKWine for your wine and food tour.

Thousands of happy customers

Over the years, thousands of wine lovers have travelled with us. Many come back to tour again and again with BKWine to new wine regions. Our record-breaking client has been on more than ten BKWine tours. We are happy and proud to have such faithful customers.

Read more on what travellers have said about our tours.

Awards and Mentions

We’re pleased and proud to have received many accolades, including:

  • “World’s Top Wine Tours”, Travel+Leisure Magazine, the world’s biggest travel magazine
  • “Best wine tasting holidays”, AOL Travel’s list of top wine tours
  • “Recommended Wine Tours”, Munskänkarna, the world’s biggest wine appreciation association
  • “World’s Best Wine Book for Professionals” as well as “Best Wine Book of the Year”, Gourmand International awards, and many other book prizes
  • Three OIV book awards, International Organisation of Vine and Wine
  • “Wine Personality of the Year”, an honour bestowed on Britt Karlsson by Munskänkarna in 2011, the world’s biggest wine appreciation association
  • Inclusion on the Wine Media Power List, by Wine Business International magazine

About the wine producers and wineries we visit

Our aim is for you to experience some of the very best and most interesting aspects of the wine world, in terms of wine and food.

We put great effort into creating outstanding winery visits, and in this way we are quite different to many wine tour organisers. It is not always the most renowned, internationally known estates that offer the best experiences. Organising a wine tour featuring famous names of the wine world is relatively easy: it is merely a question of making lists and ticking boxes. On those kind of “bucket list” wine tours, you rarely meet the winemaker or the owner. You will simply be one of thousands of visitors they receive each year.

We do things differently. With BKWine Tours, you will meet the people behind the label, often the winemakers and/or the owners. Thanks to them, you will have a unique, truly personal experience and an insight into the wine world that no one else can offer. When you travel with BKWine, you are more like a special guest than a tourist.

We have personal connections and unparalleled knowledge thanks to more than 20 years as wine journalists, with 10 wine books published, and as wine tour organisers with more than 30 years’ experience. You can be sure of getting the best wine travel experiences with BKWine Tours.

Read more on the wine producers and wineries we visit.

A true gourmet experience: food and gastronomy

For us, wine and food are intimately linked, and this is a fundamental part of our wine travel philosophy. For this reason, a wine tour with BKWine is always an outstanding culinary experience both for the wine enthusiast and for the gourmet. A BKWine tour is a gastronomic voyage that explores the deep relationship between food and wine.

Read more On Meals: Food and Gastronomy on Our Tours.

Customer Protection,  Financial Travel Guarantee, and Terms and Conditions

You can always feel safe when you book your tour with BKWine. BKWine has a bonded bank guarantee that gives full protection according to EU and Swedish law. BKWine is a Swedish limited company and as such is regulated by strict rules.

Read more on Customer Protection, Financial Travel Guarantee. and our Terms and Conditions.

When you book a tour it is important that you read the terms and conditions. BKWine’s booking terms and conditions follow the guidelines developed by the Consumer Protection Agency.

Health, vaccination and allergies

Our tours have no particular health requirements although inevitably we will be walking a certain amount in wine cellars and vineyards. Sensible footwear is a must.

Most of our travel destinations have no particular health guidelines or requirements for vaccinations or medical certificates, but if in doubt, you should always consult a medical professional, vaccination centre or relevant embassy in your country of origin.

We can always accommodate food allergies. However, in order for us to manage such requests you must let us know about any allergies before the tour starts.

Read more in our FAQ and in our Terms and Conditions.

Travel insurance

BKWine does not sell travel insurance. If you want travel insurance, check if your regular home insurance policy includes some kind of travel insurance, or contact your regular insurance company or a travel insurance specialist.

Custom Tours

We also offer custom wine and food tours if you want to travel on different dates, or if you want something different to what we currently offer on our scheduled tours. This tailor-made service can be offered for individuals, companies, professionals, wine tastings clubs etc.

Important information

Our groups are always small. The number of people in the group may vary. The maximum can range from 8 to around 20; check the details in each programme. But our groups are always modest in size. This is important because it guarantees a quality experience and a personal welcome at the wineries we visit.

Read the BKWine Booking Terms and Conditions here. They are important to you!

You are expected to organise your travel independently to the destination for most of our tours, but once you are at the location, we take care of everything.

For more inspiration

Read our wine travel blog. For more, read our online wine magazine the BKWine Magazine with articles from all over the wine world.

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