Exploring Prosecco: Northern Italy’s Sparkling Wine Region

Luxury

on request

Prosecco, best known for its delicious sparkling wine, is a fantastic region for hiking, cycling, and cultural exploration in Northern Italy. Beautiful landscapes in the foothills of the Dolomites offer breathtaking vistas, perfectly complementing the gorgeous wines produced here!

  • Length 3 Days / 2 Nights
  • Trip Type Extension
  • Activity Level Easy
  • Start / Finish Follina

Highlights

  • Explore the Prosecco region of northern Italy, discovering the steep hillside vineyards and coveted sparkling wine they produce
  • Hike the Via Claudia Augusta, an ancient Roman road, and enjoy lunch at a winery that produces Cartizze, Prosecco’s most esteemed Cru
  • Visit one of Palladio’s most famous villas, the Villa di Maser, and behold the breathtaking frescos created by Veronese

 

OVERVIEW

A famed Italian sparkling wine, the Italian grape varietal the wine is made from, and a region in Northern Italy can only mean one thing – Prosecco of course! The Prosecco region lies 50 kilometers (31 miles) from Venice, halfway between the Alps and the Adriatic Sea, in the foothills of the Dolomite Mountains, which creates an optimal climate for growing the Prosecco grape! The terrain here is beautiful – a hilly strip of land in the Veneto’s Treviso, between the small towns of Conegliano and Valdobbiadene. Elevations ranging from 50 and 500 meters (150-1,500') create steep sunny hillsides that have been covered with vines for generations. This verticality makes the area difficult to cultivate, much less for the vintners to stand on the hillside as they tend their grapes! But this has made Prosecco the wine all the more precious…

Topaz in color, with an intoxicating bouquet, Prosecco presents with ripe assorted apple, pear, some citrus, and often a hint of nutty almond, all intensified by the bubbles! How many bubbles? Your choice! Prosecco is made in a spumante style, with lots of bubbles, and frizzante, if you prefer fewer bubbles tickling your nose and palate. This versatile, food-friendly wine is primarily made from Glera (the grape formerly and more commonly known as "Prosecco"), though other varieties are permitted to be included in the blend.

Prosecco is made using the Charmat method, also called the "Italian Method." Similar to the traditional French méthode champenoise, Charmat forces the second fermentation to happen in a large stainless steel tank prior to bottling, rather than in the bottle like Champagne. The Charmat method is a less expensive way to push a wine through second fermentation, and is best used for sparkling wines that are meant to be consumed young and fresh – which is perfect for Prosecco!

The entire Prosecco region is full of charm and atmosphere. Historical and artistic attractions abound, from a 12th century abbey, to Palladian Villas from the 16th century, to historic and contemporary wineries that produce Prosecco. What’s more, you’ll find exalted Michelin-star-rated restaurants that will amply complement the refined taste of the most renowned Proseccos available. And the entire region, with its exciting views and its natural beauty, is perfect for both hiking and cycling! Truly, the magnificence of the sparkling wine produced here mirrors the loveliness of the landscape, and is amply celebrated with the pop of a cork each day!

Day by Day

Prosecco, best known for its delicious sparkling wine, is a fantastic region for hiking, cycling, and cultural exploration in Northern Italy. Beautiful landscapes in the foothills of the Dolomites offer breathtaking vistas, perfectly complementing the gorgeous wines produced here!


Day 1 ~ Arrive in Follina, in the Prosecco Region
If you are joining us from the Dolomite Mountains, after breakfast take a private transfer to the Prosecco region (2.5 hours from the Dolomites). If this is your first destination in Italy, take a private transfer to the Prosecco from the Venice Marco Polo International Airport (VCE, 1 hour). Arrive at your Relais & Châteaux Hotel in Follina.

Situated on the “Strada del Prosecco” (the Prosecco wine route), Follina is a picturesque village with ancient origins, immersed in the lush green landscape of Veneto's “pre-Alps” (foothills). This small community is situated in the foothills of the Treviagian Alps, halfway between Valdobbiadene and Vittorio Veneto. The town was developed in the 12th century by a group of Cistercian monks, who used the abundant water supply of the area to establish a flourishing industry in woolen goods. Today, the town is an important cultural center, composed of seventeenth century palazzi (palaces), as well as being a hub of industry and craftsmanship, resulting from the buoyant hotel trade.

Tonight you have the option to have dinner at the 1-star Michelin Restaurant at your hotel.
… Relais & Châteaux in Follina, Prosecco Region (5-Star)


Day 2 ~ Explore the Prosecco Region – Hiking or Biking
You have two tremendous options today to choose from, depending on how you wish to explore the area.

Option: Hiking the Via Claudia Augusta
In the morning meet your local English speaking hiking guide, take a private transfer to Praregade, and start your hiking adventure, following the” Via Claudia Augusta” track back towards Follina.  After two thousand years of history, this ancient Roman road is enjoying a renaissance. What once led traders from the Po River lowlands and the Adriatic Sea all the way to Bavaria and the Danube, today has become a bridge joining and blending cultures, places, and emotions. (2 hours hiking.)

Upon arrival in Follina, visit the “Osteria senza oste” in the middle of the vineyards. In English, this quite magical locale is called "osteria without a host", and it totally lives up to its name. With no one behind the bar, customers are trusted to serve themselves Prosecco from the fridge, along with cheese, hams, boiled eggs, and bread. When you are finished, you simply pop the payment into a wooden box, and somehow it works.

From the osteria, you’ll walk to your lunch stop, a small winemaking farm that specializes in the cultivation and production of high quality Prosecco and it’s most esteemed Cru, Cartizze, a DOCG Prosecco produced only from grapes grown specifically on the Cartizze hill. The family that owns this winery has been producing Prosecco for over two centuries, always entirely by hand, with care and passion enriched by knowledge and experience generation after generation.

In the late afternoon, visit the cultural highlight on the Prosecco wine road: the Romanesque abbey in Follina, where you can wander round the 12th-century Cistercian church and cloisters.


Option: Biking Tour of Venetian Villas and Hill Towns
Beginning in Follina, you’ll bike towards Valdobbiadene, passing by Fener, to reach Possagno, near Cavaso del Tomba. Passagno is the birthplace of sculptor Antonio Canova (1757-1822). Known today as the greatest neoclassical artist, he created delicately rendered marble sculptures for the most eminent personalities of the 18th century. His home is now the Museum Canova, a typical 17th-century Venetian building which houses a complete overview of his life and work. The museum of Antonio Canova is really the complete view of his art and his life, and a stop not to miss.

When you are through with your visit to the museum, hop back on your bikes and ride to Asolo. Along the way, you will be traversing hills of Prosecco vineyards at the foot of the Alps!

Asolo is a charming medieval hill town, with steep winding streets that weave between buildings that seem to cling to the hillside. Piazza Garibaldi sits at the heart of the town, surrounded by elegant buildings. At the center of the square is an ancient fountain, with a winged lion at its top showing the cities former allegiance to the Venetian Republic.  Fascinatingly, it is still powered by an antique Roman aqueduct. This keeps the water clean, and in fact this is one of the cleanest public fountains you'll see in Italy!
One of the most noticeable features in Asolo is La Rocca, a medieval fortress set atop the hill above the town. From the Piazza, it is a 5-minute walk up to the castle, from where you can enjoy a magnificent 360° view of the surrounding hills and Monte Grappa. It’s no surprise that Asolo is known as the "Town of a Hundred Horizons.

Departing Asolo, cycle down to Maser to Villa Barbaro, more commonly referred to as Villa di Maser.  This famous Palladian villa is one of the greatest masterpieces of Andrea Palladio (1508-1580), and is a preserved as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Climbing roses, wisteria, and bignonia adorn the entrance courtyard, welcoming visitors to the villa.  Inside, the walls are adorned with frescoes by great masters of the Venetian Renaissance, Paolo Veronese 1528-1588, and represent his largest and most important fresco works. There is a Nymphaeum at the back of the villa, with stuccoes by Alessandro Vittoria, depicting nymphs from the woods that have come to this wonderful place to offer protection for the villa and its guests.
Return to Follina, cycling through the towns of Vidor and Soligo.
(4 hours biking, 90km / 60 miles, medium difficulty.)

Tonight we recommend dining at Osteria al Castelleto. This is a gem not only for its flavors, but also for its hospitality.  Through her creative touch in the kitchen, Mrs. Clemi interprets the flavors of local and regional traditions, following the seasons. This intimate restaurant offers indoor seating, as well as seating in its beautiful semi-covered garden during the summer months.
B… Relais & Châteaux in Follina, Prosecco Region (5-Star)


Day 3 ~ Depart
Breakfast and departure.
B…


Trip itinerary may vary based on weather conditions, fitness levels and abilities of participants, and/or the recommendation of your guide.

Cost

Cost per person: From € 1.000 per person (minimum 2 participants)

Cost Includes:

  • In airport transfers
  • Logistics
  • 2 nights accommodation in a 5-star hotel in Follina
  • All breakfasts
  • Local English-speaking hiking or biking guide for 1 day
  • Private transfers as per itinerary
  • Local tourist tax
  • Italian VAT tax

Accommodation

At Dolomite Mountains, we hand pick accommodations that best reflect the style of each region, to provide you with the most authentic experience of the unique cultures found in the different cities and towns where we travel. We work directly with the owners of each property, forging strong relationships to ensure you receive the best service and care during your stay. Regardless of whether it is a five-star luxury hotel or a cozy bed and breakfast you desire, we choose the best-in-class accommodations within each category, providing you stays at the most sought after hotels in each region. And, we always make sure you have access to inspired, regional cuisine!

Group Trip Dates

Trip name   Trip dates   Min persons   Trip status   Price    
25-30 Jul
2017
4
Available
€ 890
27 Jul - 3 Aug
2017
4
Limited space
€ 1260
8-14 Aug
2017
4
Sold out
€ 1520
15-21 Aug
2017
4
Sold out
€ 2660
16-21 Aug
2017
4
Sold out
€ 890
16-20 Aug
2017
4
Limited space
€ 890
26 Sep - 1 Oct
2017
4
Limited space
€ 2660
26 Sep - 1 Oct
2017
4
Limited space
€ 1520
2-8 Oct
2017
4
Available
€ 2660
3-7 Oct
2017
4
Sold out
€ 890
3-10 Oct
2017
4
Available
€ 1730
10-15 Oct
2017
4
Available
€ 890
14-19 Feb
2018
4
Limited space
€ 2200
21-27 Feb
2018
4
Available
€ 1900
25 Mar - 2 Apr
2018
4
Available
€ 2200
25 Mar - 2 Apr
2018
4
Available
€ 1540
4-9 Apr
2018
4
Available
€ 1270
11-17 Apr
2018
4
Available
€ 1900
18-23 Apr
2018
4
Available
€ 2200
18-23 Apr
2018
4
Available
€ 1690
17-21 Jul
2018
4
Available
€ 890
22-27 Aug
2018
4
Available
€ 1460
4-14 Aug
2018
4
Available
€ 1520
7-13 Aug
2018
4
Available
€ 2660
25-31 Sep
2018
4
Available
€ 2660
8-12 Oct
2018
4
Available
€ 890