Italy exports vast quantities of Prosecco every year – around 90 million bottles, to be precise. Originally referring to a grape variety until the tail end of 2009, Prosecco now denotes a specific place of origin. The growing areas of Conegliano and Valdobbiadene in the province of Treviso are among the most famous Prosecco regions of the entire world. They meet the most superior Italian wine classification (DOCG) for which they can rely on an area that has been shaped specifically for the cultivation of the so-called Glera grapes over the course of centuries. The Prosecco hills between Conegliano and Valdobbiadene were declared named UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2019. Unique scenery and distinct paths of indulgence await you during a visit.
Prosecco with controlled and guaranteed designation of origin
Prosecco di Conegliano Valdobbiadene is a spumante made predominantly from the Glera grape (85% to 100%). This sparkling wine may only be grown in the following 15 municipalities in and around Conegliano and Valdobbiadene:
- San Vendemiano
- Colle Umberto
- Vittorio Veneto
- Cison di Valmarino
- San Pietro di Feletto
- Pieve di Soligo
- Farra di Soligo
Aside from the Prosecco di Colli Asolani, which is also grown in the province of Treviso (in Asolo, to be precise), the Prosecco di Conegliano Valdobbiadene is the only one of its kind to carry the DOCG classification. DOCG stands for “Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita” and translates to “controlled and guaranteed designation of origin” – the best wine quality classification in Italy. The wine-growers produce astonishing amounts of Prosecco – approx. 700,000 hectolitres a year with an upward trend – in four different kinds: still, frizzante, Spumante Superiore and Superiore di Cartizze.
Patchwork on steep growing terraces
The unique wine-growing area and the close interaction between man and nature were decisive World Heritage criteria for the UNESCO. The population faced the massive challenges of the difficult terrain, to put it mildly, head on for century after century eventually forming it into the perfect Prosecco region. This very terrain is known as “hogback” – steep, rugged slopes extending in an east-west direction interspersed with small, parallel-running valleys. “Ciglioni” were used to tame this difficult surface. They are a very particular kind of terrace that use grassy soil instead of rock thereby durably reinforcing the hills. Evidence suggest that these growing allotments were first used in the 16th and 17th century and are especially well-suited for steep areas. As there are thousands of small wine-growers between Conegliano and Valdobbiadene, the Prosecco hills look like patchwork – highly fragmented yet closely connected to one another.
Strolling on indulgence paths between Conegliano and Valdobbiadene
While you might have enjoyed this brief-ish Prosecco lesson, you probably just want to taste what the region has to offer, right? Numerous indulgence paths connect the two hotspots leading across steep hills and through dense forests, across tessellated growing allotments and wide agricultural lands. There is even a sort of “Prosecco road” between Conegliano and Valdobbiadene. We have chosen a few highlights for you:
- Conegliano: We kick things off at Italy’s first wine school, founded in 1876. A guided tour shows you the secrets of Prosecco production. Visit old wine cellars afterward and check out the nearby wine museum.
- Refrontolo: Being one of the most charming villages of this region, Refrontolo is home to a particularly popular grape harvest variety. Do not sleep on the still operational water mill Molinetto della Croda, currently acting as a museum.
- Villa Brandolini: This building in Solighetto is home to concentrated Prosecco competence being the seat of Consorzio Tutela del Vino Prosecco Conegliano Valdobbiadene DOCG. The villa serves as a venue for cultural events and exciting exhibitions.
- Follina: Follina is one of Italy’s most beautiful villages. The culinary options alone are astounding. Enjoy a rest stop in a trattoria with a hearty regional meal and visit the grand Abbazia di Santa Maria afterward.
- Farra di Soligo: The hills are becoming steeper and wilder – perfect for a neat little hike! The three Torri di Credazzo, which used to be part of a castle destroyed by the Lombards, and the small church San Martino stand tall among the vines.
- Cartizze: The home of the Conegliano Valdobbiadene-Prosecco Superiore di Cartizze impresses with spectacular cone-like hills, the so-called “chiocciole”, and “casére”, the region’s characteristic barns. You absolutely must visit one of the many wine cellars.
- Valdobbiadene: Excellent restaurants serving the best of the Treviso cuisine plus countless spumante wine cellars await you at the end of the indulgence path. By the way, we recommend taking a brief detour to Guia, Campea and Farrò on your way back. The view of the vines is incredibly breathtaking here, particularly during sunset.
Discover one of the most beautiful and unique areas in all of Italy, the special symbiosis of man and nature and, above all, particularly fine wines. The Prosecco hills between Conegliano and Valdobbiadene exemplify competence, innovations, and inventive genius in the Italian art of winegrowing. And do not forget about the incomparable, tessellated scenery! Do not miss out on one of the youngest Italian UNESCO World Heritage Sites – and maybe, just maybe, visit one of the countless wine cellars while you are at it.