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ooking for world-class wines, top-tier agritourism, and stunning scenery? Northern Italy delivers all three—as well as at exceptional value—all within driving distance of Venice.

The Sea: Venissa Skip the bustle of Venice for Venissa, a luxury resort located on the tranquil island of Mazzorbo. This Venetian gem in the northern lagoon features boutique lodging, a Michelin-star restaurant, contemporary osteria, and walled vineyard all a short ferry ride away from Piazza San Marco. Lovingly restored by the prominent Bisol family of Prosecco fame, Venissa’s enclosed vineyard grows the Dorona di Venezia variety, a rare white grape once favored by Venetian nobility. Coveted by collectors, Venissa Dorona wine honor Venice’s three artisanal traditions: wine, gold, and glass. Venice’s last remaining gold hammerers, the Berta Battiloro (meaning ‘gold hammerer’ in Italian) family, handhammers the gold leaf used to label this small production wine; glassmakers on the island of Murano then bake the gold labels onto each bottle. Ristorante Venissa proffers Venissa and Venissa Rosso in various vintages and formats in addition to over 200 international and local small-lot selections. Savor avant-garde Venetian cuisine such as fish from the lagoon, vegetables from the estate, and wild herbs from the vineyard lovingly prepared by chefs Francesco Brutto and Chiara Pavan.

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Where to Stay: Try the five-room Venissa Wine Resort or 13-room Casa Burano, both located just a footbridge away on the colorful island of Burano. Where to Eat: For formal dining, Venissa Restaurant is a must while Osteria Contemporanea offers tasty food in a casual atmosphere. Getting to Venice: Fly into Venice Marco Polo airport (VCE). You’ll need a rental car for venturing outside the city; the airport offers several different options. Getting to Venissa: If you take a water taxi from Venice, the trip takes 20 minutes while the water taxi from the airport will take 30 minutes. Another option is to take the vaporetto from Venice (35 minutes) or the airport (1 hour 15 minutes).

Between the Mountains and the Sea: Zorzettig To sip wines grown beyond the lagoon, drive east from Venice to Zorzettig estate which is located in Spessa, the heart of Colli Orientali el Friuli wine region bordering Slovenia. Meet the formidable Annalisa Zorzettig, a former attorney and active member of Associazione Nazionale Le Donne del Vino (Women in Wine), who helms her family’s 100-year-old estate. Renown for their Friulano wines (once known as Tocai), Zorzettig also claims fame for their premier MYÒ Vignetti di Spessa

Photos: Hillside vineyards of Alto Adige; Zorzettig vineyards in Spessa; Zorzettig estate bee hives

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Food, Wine, Travel Magazine, Winter 2020  

Food, Wine, Travel Magazine, Winter 2020 is our food, wine, and spirits issue. Join our writers as they take you on a culinary tour around t...

Food, Wine, Travel Magazine, Winter 2020  

Food, Wine, Travel Magazine, Winter 2020 is our food, wine, and spirits issue. Join our writers as they take you on a culinary tour around t...