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Prosecco Wine Route

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My husband and I will be traveling to Venice in October for a conference. We found a wealth of restaurant info on CH for Venice. When the conference is over, we are planning 3 nights in the Prosecco Wine region just outside of Venice. We will probably stay in Valdobbiadene. I haven't found any posts about this area. The towns on the wine route are Valdobbiadene, Follina, Molinetto della Croda, San Pietro di Fellato and Conegliano. We will have a car and will go to other towns in the area such as Asolo and Bassano del Grappa. Any recommendations on restaurants or favorite wineries in this area? We love good, local food, at any type of place from a hole in the wall to fine dining. Thanks in advance for any help you can provide!

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  1. Knowing what I know about the area, unless you have a special interest in Prosecco, may I suggest that you think about Friuli instead. More interesting vineyards and wines, and definitely more interesting food and restaurants. Valdobbiadene to Conegliano is pretty, but in the way of food, neither here (the mountains) nor there (the sea). Generally uninteresting and that could be why there is a dearth of posts. Bassano is interesting and Asolo a bit, but neither is going to be close if you're working your way from west to east.

    31 Replies
    1. re: allende

      I do LOVE Prosecco, but I'll take what you said under advisement and do a little research on Friuli. Thanks for your advice.

      1. re: ellen23

        I will second Allende's recommendation for investigating Friuli and link to this interview with chef Lidia Bastianich for your research:

        http://www.fodors.com/news/story_2870...

        I also posted this in another thread:

        http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/806542

        and this is an older post of mine about my visit to the region

        http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/733817

        1. re: barberinibee

          OK, I just did a cursory review of Lidia's article and read a little about Invito a Pranzo, and we just may have to switch our plans as you suggested. It just so happens that I met Lidia 2 weeks ago when my husband and I dined at Del Posto for our anniversary. Can't wait to read your post about your visit, barberinibee. Thanks for the links!

          1. re: ellen23

            I also want to push you in the direction of FVG. Just wrote a short trip report of our visit at the end of august: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/806551

            1. re: vinoroma

              vinoroma - Just read your trip report. Very helpful. Do you have a couple of favorite wineries to check out? My husband and I enjoy wine but are not very knowledgeable. I wouldn't even know where to begin with narrowing down wineries. Lodging and restaurants are my forte in research. Thanks!

              1. re: ellen23

                oh... If you are in the early stages of your life's wine-journey, I would suggest the following wineries (any and all of them) as easier to understand & like wineries of Friuli. When you are done with these, there are more difficult & interesting ones I'll let you know about ;)
                Rosa Bosco
                Livio Felluga
                Jermann
                La Tunella
                Le Vigne di Zamo
                Lis Neris
                Ronco del Gelso
                Villa Russiz
                Venica & Venica
                Vie di Romans

                Have fun!

                1. re: vinoroma

                  Thanks vinoroma! I don't know if you calling us early in our journey is accurate or just that we are not that well informed! We fell in love with chianti when we visited that region, and continued to discover other Italian wines we love as we visit each region, without much research. But I'm thrilled to have your list to guide me so that our journey in Friuli will not be haphazard!

                  1. re: ellen23

                    oh, I meant to say something like "since this is the first time you are going there and are not very knowledgeable about the region's wines yet". Friuli is home to many winemakers who are going different ways in wine making (natural wine, orange wine, anfora being some key words). I do find them very interesting and enjoy them a lot, but I thought for a first timer in the area, also assuming (wrongly?) you are not familiar with the wines of the region, it is best to recommend you the more "normal", conventional producers & wines as a start. Later, when you go back (which I'm sure you will want to do!), there are, as said above, some more interesting things to look into, too; I just think they would not be the right place to start.
                    Hope I was clear now, didn't mean to imply you don't know about wines in general!

                    1. re: vinoroma

                      LOL. I was absolutely not offended whatsoever by your comments. I was just giving you a little more background on us. We love wine, but are complete amateurs. I'm very happy to be guided by someone else who is much more knowledgeable, like you! And thanks for addressing the apparently taboo topic that I brought up. I just wasn't seeming to get anywhere with my research on which accommodations have the best breakfasts ;) and where is the best base for exploring the food and wine in the region.

                  2. re: vinoroma

                    Vinoroma,
                    I will be visiting FVG in May and would welcome recommendations on any wineries you may know of that welcome visitors. We're particularly interested to find complex full bodied whites that we wouldn't be familiar with in the states. We're desirous to delve into orange wines and those aged in amphora. That said, your entry caught my eye. I welcome any suggestions you may have.

                    If this clarification helps, the bottom line is that we're more interested in tasting a wide variety of interesting wines than necessarily visiting the wineries per se. If pulling up a stool at a wine bar (that offers a multitude of options by the glass) is a better bet, we'll likely opt for that route. Would you recommend Enoteca di Cormons for this? Or is there a place with a more varied and substantive selection?

                    Thank you in advance for sharing your insights and experience. It's much appreciated!

                    If I only visit one winery, I believe this is where I'd want to go. Have you been?
                    http://www.nytimes.com/2005/05/25/din...

                    1. re: blacklicorice

                      Ciao blacklicorice (salted or not? ;)),
                      The list above is pretty good for exploring. Add i clivi (zanussi) to that, which i forgot the first time around.
                      The winery you mention, josko gravner, is impossible to visit i am afraid. He is THE anfora/orange wine man in Italy and a character. I was extremely lucky years ago to visit and talk, don't think it is possible in general. You might have better luck with his friends/followers like radikon, podversic, princic, zidari etc.
                      Also see my account of fvg eating http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/806551 enoteca cormons is the best place to get an overview of the wines of the area. Do not eat there!

                      1. re: vinoroma

                        Thank you for the link and the great reading. Actually, I'd already read your report (and printed it!) and thus knew that the Enoteca Cormons might be a good place to taste wines, but not worth the meal. I will look into the "Gravner style proponents" that you suggested. I've since learned that Radikon and Damian might be open to visits and tours. Hopefully I can get there on a moped from Cormons! :)
                        Oh, and most importantly - NEVER salted! ;)

                        1. re: blacklicorice

                          BL, Radikon is open for tours, as we were scheduled to visit but changed plans at the last minute and never made it. We had some very good snacks at the Enoteca while we were drinking. But not as good as the "Claps" cookies we bought at the bakery down the street.
                          If you have time, you really must stop and see Mr. Zoff, the cheesemaker in Cormons. Fantastic products - he gave us yogurt to take back to our hotel and eat in the morning that was the best I have ever had! Also, d'Osvaldo prosciutto was another great find!

                          1. re: ekc

                            ekc~
                            Ok, now you MUST find your notes! :)
                            Can you tell me more specifically where to find Mr. Zoff? Fresh yogurt & cheese you say? I may need to stop there daily.
                            Ditto on the "Claps." I'm not a huge fan of fancy deserts, but cookies are my weakness. You didn't find any spectacular cantucci that you need to share details about, did you?

                            allende~
                            I wrote Josko earlier. I figured I had nothing to lose, right? I was very nice. Let's just hope nice ENOUGH and that the humor translated sufficiently into Italian! Fingers crossed.

                            1. re: blacklicorice

                              Mr. Z has an agriturismo right in or just outside of Cormons. I will find his card and post his address. JUST put the Claps container in the recycling this morning, so I will retrieve it this evening after work and get the address for you, along with the other info!

                              1. re: ekc

                                Are they really called "Claps" cookies or did you just find yourself clapping with joy every time you ate one, so you named them as such? :)

                                1. re: blacklicorice

                                  actually it means (pebble) stones, see here: http://www.friulidigusto.it/fri/EN_ca...

                                  1. re: blacklicorice

                                    They actually are called "Claps" but I did ALOT of clapping for joy when eating on that trip, but especially with those cookies!

                                    1. re: ekc

                                      I'll definitely go searching for them. Thanks for the link vinoroma.

                                      I poked around online looking for Mr. Z and his cheese, ekc. No luck finding an agriturismo or caseificio in the area with an owner with last name Z. I'll definitely take the name or address of the place you recommend for the "Claps" once you recover the empty box as well as Mr. Z's info if you can find it!

                                      1. re: blacklicorice

                                        http://www.piccolocollio.it/piccoloco...

                                        http://www.vinit.net/vino/Friuli+Vene...

                                        http://udine.mondodelgusto.it/2011/01...

                                        1. re: zerlina

                                          :)
                                          Thank you!! I was just about to post a retraction since I, too, finally found something:
                                          http://www.borgdaocjs.it/

                                        2. re: blacklicorice

                                          BL, finally dug out the BOX of stuff I saved and have the following recommendations around Cormons - all of which we personally tried and loved:

                                          Azienda Agricola Zoff, Agriturismo Borg da Ocjs: Via Parini, 18, 1-34071 Borgnano di Cormons (GO). Tel +39 0481.67204. His daughter is Patrizia and she speaks English and her phone number is +39 340.3619874. Their "store" is open 8-12 and 3-6 in winter and 4-7 in summer, closed Sunday. HIGHLY recommended - we had a nice tour and cheese tasting. Tell Patrizia Engred and Julius and Guido say Hi.

                                          We had 2 lunches at Terra & Vini (liked it so much the first time we went back the next day). Via XXIV Maggio, 34, 34071 Brazzano di Cormons, Gorizia, Italy. Tel. +39 0481 60028. www.terraevini.it. Very charming small restaurant. No printed menu, the days options recited by the server.

                                          While there for lunch we met Elda Felluga and she invited us to taste a special bottle of wine at their facility down the street. She was SO personable and welcoming and I am sure would be happy to give you a tour and tasting (they had a beautiful tasting room). Livio Felluga , Via Risorgimento, 1, 34071 Brazzano di Cormons. +39 0481 60203. Tell her Engred the food blogger sends her regards.

                                          The charming place we ate at in Slovenia was Klinec in Dobrovo. They also have an agriturismo. Klinec Medana, Medana 19, Dobrovo V BRDIH, 52121, SLO, Tel: 00386 (0)5 39-59-408. www.klinec.si.

                                          The bakery for the Claps (soooo yummy) was Chiarosa pane e dolci, Blonelli Fausto & Co., Via Gorizia 7, Cormons. Tel: 0481 630664.

                                          You will have a fantastic time! If you are able to venture over to Asolo/Bassano/Cividale area let me know, as I have recs there also.

                                          1. re: ekc

                                            One more thing I forgot to mention, which is amazing because we LOVED their product and our visit there, was the D'Osvaldo prosciutto. I didn't get a business card from them (??) but I am sure you can locate them online. Mr. Zoff's daughter put together a cheese tasting while we were at D'Osvaldo tasting the prosciutto, so it made for a wonderful lunch! We then invited all of them to join us at the Enoteca, which they did and we had a nice couple of hours tasting wine and chatting with them.

                                            1. re: ekc

                                              Wow - ekc~
                                              I can't thank you enough for all the details.
                                              I definitely plan to visit most all your recs and have already emailed the Zoff's. Since we don't eat prosciutto, there's time for more more wine, cheese and claps stops. It sounds like you had a wonderful time and I wish you could meet us at the Enoteca while we're there so we could raise a glass to you for all your help! :)
                                              We're only in the FVG area for 3 days - hoping to tour a few vineyards & local producers via vespa one day; explore Trieste on another day and I'm leaving the 3rd day up for grabs. Then we're off to Venice, Florence (with several day trips) and Le Marche.
                                              I'd welcome any other restaurant suggestions, but will probably search other boards and possibly re-post once I've done more homework.

                                              1. re: blacklicorice

                                                Oh, I wish I could join you in the Enoteca also!! You will have a wonderful time! Do you have your restaurants set for Venice and Florence?? :-)

                            2. re: vinoroma

                              Josko is not difficult to visit. You just have to ask nicely or have one of his friends (as I have) write a letter of introduction. Radikon and princic are good, and are welcoming, but there is nothing like THE man.

                    2. re: ellen23

                      Great! Fred Plotkin is also a huge fan of the region. His wonderful book, La Terra Fortunata, is out of print, but you can get a used copy.

                      http://www.amazon.com/Terra-Fortunata...

                      His basic guide, Italy for the Gourmet Traveler, also has a good section of Friuli Venezia Giulia.

                      and other links...

                      http://cof2011.com/2011/01/31/fred-pl...

                      http://dinersjournal.blogs.nytimes.co...

                      http://www.e-cookbooks.net/articles/f...

                      1. re: barberinibee

                        You have all been wonderful and helpful on wine and food, but I'm getting frustrated trying to find where to stay, so I'm hoping you can give me some direction there as well. We are looking for a good location to see the region, comfortable queen or king size bed, good breakfast, and warm hosts that can guide us while we are there. Since we are starting over from scratch and the trip is barely over a month away, I feel like I need to get that squared away before I can move forward with the rest of the planning.

                        1. re: ellen23

                          I think the admins will kill us if we start talking about accomodation on this forum. But maybe you can look into this: some of the mentioned restaurants & wineries on the Italy Forum also have rooms. I find it always nicer than staying at hotels. Do a search on FVG eating & drinking and read thru carefully, you will see some of them mention rooms. I have, for example, in my recent review. One more addition: (and, dear admin, this is about breakfast, so please don't kill it!): The afore mentioned da Nando, which I do not enjoy (dinner)food & service-wise anymore, has rooms that come with a great breakfast, one of the best in Italy!

                          1. re: ellen23

                            Chef Lidia Bastianich's list is mostly places where you eat and sleep, in particular the restaurant LA SUBIDA

                            http://www.lasubida.it/index.html

                          2. re: barberinibee

                            Thanks for the tip on Fred Plotkin's book. I just picked it up this afternoon at the local library. It is a fascinating read. I must admit that I rarely read the history of a place I am going to, as the guidebooks generally all but put me to sleep with their dull descriptions. But the history of this area is fascinating and Fred is an engaging writer.