Veneto in the north east of Italy, is the 8th largest region in Italy in terms of land mass, and over 90,000 hectares are under vine, of which some 35,000 hectares are DOC, making Veneto the largest producer of DOC wines in Italy. Venetian viticulture dates back to the Roman times, but phylloxera and world wars saw large cooperatives come to the region taking over many smaller vineyards.
The region is protected from the harsh European climate by the Alps, in the north of Veneto, though the cool climate there is ideal for producing Garganega, the main variety in the white wine Soave. To the east, along the Adriatic coast the renowned Valpolicella, Amarone and Bardolino DOC reds are produced. Reds are often blended with multiple grapes although straight varietals like Cabernet Franc can be very enjoyable.
The plains of Piave produce vast quantities of wine, rather than necessarily producing the highest quality wines and up in the Conegliano hills to the north is home to the Prosecco variety, which is growing in popularity, seen as a bargain alternative to Champagne.