Veneto, Italy


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The Venissa Estate lies on Mazzorbo, one of the three islands of Native Venice, an archipelago of nature, colors, flavors, and art that also includes Burano and Torcello.

Venissa is the perfect example of a “walled vineyard.” It was restored by the Bisol family of Prosecco fame, and in it grows the Dorona di Venezia variety, native to the Venetian Lagoon and cultivated for centuries until nearly becoming extinct after the great flood of 1966.

Today, from this rediscovered gem, the Bisol family produces fewer than 4000 bottles per year of Venissa. It is one of the most sought-after white wines in the world by wine enthusiasts, a unique wine with notes of salinity that recalls the lagoon and its perfumes.

While accompanying several customers on a trip to Torcello in 2002, I noticed an old grapevine in a private garden beside the Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta. I managed to persuade the owner to send me some of the grapes when they had matured. The crates arrived full of lovely, thick-skinned grapes with a brilliant golden color. It was the famous Dorona, also known as the golden grape, well-loved by the Venetians and served during the banquets of the Doges and then lost to history.”
– Gianluca Bisol.


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After the first microvinifications were carried out, Gianluca Bisol and his colleagues decided to replant the Dorona di Venezia, which, in the lagoon, produces a nectar that cannot be found anywhere else in the world. The ideal location turned out to be the island of Mazzorbo on the Scarpa Volo estate, which had been a walled vineyard and winery for centuries until the great flood of 1966. It is here that the Bisol family decided to replant 4,000 vine plants of Dorona (less than 1 hectare) that produces just shy of 4,000 bottles per year.

Vinification is carried out by Desiderio Bisol and Roberto Cipresso, a renowned enologist with a passion for viticultural history. Cipresso calls for a long maceration on the skins, a practice once used by farmers, to obtain a white wine with the structure and longevity of a red. From the skins, the Venissa wine extracts the flavors and unique aromas typical of this inimitable terroir: notes of salt, honey, wormwood and white peach.

Venissa has been a pioneer in bringing wine back to the lagoon, whose reputation is quickly spreading among international wine lovers as an ideal and unique place for viticulture. After Venissa came Rosso Venissa, a red wine produced from Merlot and Carmenere from a 50-year-old vineyard located on the island of Santa Cristina. Both are wines that immediately drew the interest of wine connoisseurs. The first vintage of Rosso Venissa, the 2011 harvest, was awarded 93 points by the prestigious Italian Veronelli guide, while the 2010 vintage of Venissa was named one of the top 100 Italian wines by the highly respected Gatti Massobrio guide.