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Wine from Venice Italy

Wine in Venice history, Venissa Dorona Wines and Orto di Venezia

Wine from Venice Italy

Wine in Venice history, Venissa Dorona Wines and Orto di Venezia

Venice: A Millennia-Long Wine Legacy

The wines of Veneto, including Prosecco, Soave, and Valpolicella, are renowned worldwide. Yet, the wines crafted within Venice’s own bounds remain a lesser-known treasure. For over two millennia, Venice’s cluster of islands has harbored winemaking traditions, with historical records indicating vineyards even in Piazza San Marco until the 12th century. A survey from 1812 highlighted 300 hectares of vineyard space throughout the lagoon.

During the era of the Venetian Republic, wines were imported from the Greek Islands and the broader eastern Mediterranean. By the 1420s, as Venice extended its dominion over nearby lands, its merchants began building summer estates with vineyards throughout the Veneto, bringing winemaking into the fold. Additionally, by the 13th century, Murano’s craftsmen were pioneering the creation of glass for wine, transitioning from traditional clay vessels.

Despite the seemingly adverse conditions of marshy lands prone to saltwater flooding, Venice’s innovative spirit prevailed. The struggle of vines for nutrients in these conditions resulted in superior grapes, enhancing wine production. The devastating flood of 1966 did impact the agricultural landscape significantly, yet remnants of vineyards persist, especially within sacred grounds, safeguarded by their committed protectors.

The San Francesco della Vigna church in Castello, erected in the 13th century on a former vineyard, underwent reconstruction in 1534 with funding from doge Andrea Gritti. Jacopo Sansovino and Franciscan monk Francesco Zorzi collaborated on the design, infusing it with Pythagorean and Kabbalistic influences to mirror universal harmony, with Andrea Palladio crafting the facade.

Reviving Venice’s Historic Vineyards

In Cannaregio, near the Santa Lucia train station, the Santa Maria di Nazareth church, established by the Discalced Carmelites in 1649, showcases Baldassare Longhena’s design and Giuseppe Sardi’s facade. Inside, Tiepolo frescoes adorn the walls, while a numerology-inspired vineyard thrives outside. The Venice Wine Consortium revived this garden in 2010, nurturing 17 local and international grape varieties, resulting in a modest production of distinctive wines sold exclusively on-site.

In 2019, Santa Margherita winery acquired the vineyards at San Francesco’s cloisters, collaborating with the monks to revive and diversify the grape varieties and implement rainwater irrigation. The outcome is the Harmonia Mundi wine, producing a mere 1,000 bottles annually to support the Institute of Ecumenical Studies and chapel restoration.

Wines from Venice currently available for purchase

Wines from Venusa and Orto di Venezia are now available for purchase at Wine Shop all’Amarone, bringing a taste of Venice’s unique terroir to our collection.

Venissa Wine

Venissa Wine

Venissa

Wine from Mazzorbo Island

Venusa wine from Mazzordo. Venusa Red (100% Merlot) and Venusa White (100% Dorona - Autoctonous Grape from the Venice Lagoon)

Venusa Wine

Venissa

Wine from Mazzorbo Island

Orto di Venezia wine, produced on the island of Sant'Erasmo by Michel Toulouse.

Orto di Venezia

Michel Toulouse

Wine from Sant’Erasmo Island

Venissa: A Harmony of Culture and Viticulture on Mazzorbo

Venissa stands out as a visionary project on the serene island of Mazzorbo, an endeavor that transcends the traditional vineyard concept. This ambitious venture weaves together a vineyard, an inn, a Michelin-starred restaurant, and a resort, creating a comprehensive cultural and enological experience. Matteo Bisol, at the helm of this “walled vineyard,” has spearheaded the revival of the Dorona di Venezia grape, a precious varietal that once graced the tables of Venetian Doges with its golden hues and had nearly vanished after the floods of 1966.

The recovery of the Dorona di Venezia is a testament to Venissa’s commitment to preserving the unique winemaking heritage of Venice. The grape, which thrives in the saline-enriched soils of the lagoon, encapsulates the resilience and adaptability of the region. Venissa’s winemaking process honors Venetian traditions, employing long maceration periods and extended aging in steel vats to extract deep flavors and ensure longevity, a nod to Venice’s historical lack of cellars. The resultant wine, with its distinctive orange tint and complex flavor profile, is a celebration of Venice’s rich culinary and viticultural landscape.

Venusa Wines from Venissa's Vineyards in Mazzorbo and Isola Santa Cristina
Venusa Wines
Venusa Wines from Venissa's Vineyards in Mazzorbo and Isola Santa Cristina
Venusa Wines

Orto di Venezia: Reviving Tradition on San Erasmo

Orto di Venezia emerges as a beacon of traditional winemaking on the lush island of San Erasmo. Under the stewardship of Michel Thoulouze and his family, this winery is dedicated to harnessing the age-old practices of Venetian viticulture, blending them seamlessly with modern sensibilities to create wines that resonate with the essence of Venice. Their focus is on producing wines that reflect the lagoon’s unique environmental harmony, drawing on the rich history and vibrant landscapes that surround them.

The commitment of Orto di Venezia to maintaining the integrity of traditional winemaking is evident in their approach to cultivating their vineyards and producing their wines. They have embraced the challenge of working with the local terroir, marked by its saline soil and the constant interplay with the lagoon’s waters, to cultivate grapes that are expressive of their origin. Their flagship wines, crafted with meticulous care, offer a sensory journey through the heritage and beauty of Venice, capturing the spirit of the city and its natural surroundings in each bottle.

In the world of Venetian wine, Venissa and Orto di Venezia stand as symbols of resilience, tradition, and innovation. Their efforts to revive and celebrate Venice’s winemaking heritage not only contribute to the preservation of the city’s unique viticultural identity but also invite wine enthusiasts around the globe to discover the rich tapestry of flavors and stories that Venice has to offer.

Orto di Venezia
Orto di Venezia in Sant'Erasmo
Ripe Grape Bunch from Orto di Venezia
Orto di Venezia
Ripe Grape Bunch from Orto di Venezia

Celebrating Venetian Viticulture: Legacy and Discovery

Through the passion and stories of these vintners, Venice’s winemaking tradition continues to thrive, ensuring that the city’s legacy as a hub of cultural and viticultural richness is preserved for future generations. The efforts of Orto di Venezia, Venissa, and Laguna nel Bicchiere highlight a vibrant chapter in the story of Venice and its wines, inviting the world to partake in the magic of this extraordinary city and its vinous offerings.

Wine Shop all’Amarone

At Wine Shop all’Amarone, we are proud to offer wines from the renowned Venissa and Orto di Venezia for purchase. Our selection celebrates the deep-rooted winemaking tradition of Venice, allowing us, as wine enthusiasts and collectors, to share the exquisite tastes and storied heritage of these esteemed vineyards. We are committed to showcasing the finest Italian wines, ensuring that every bottle from Venissa and Orto di Venezia represents the very best of Venetian viticulture.

Open Monday to Saturday from 10:30 AM to 7:00 PM, closed on Sundays.

Get the Waterbus line 1 & stop at San Silvestro. We are 1 minute away.

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