Wine Fit for Royalty!
We did a short series recently on how to become a wine god, and the path to wine wisdom. Since you followed us through all the steps along the way and achieved a state of true wine god-hood, we think you (and we!) may be worthy of a little something special…
Wine fit for, and once enjoyed by, royalty! Wine that was made from the Venetian Dorona grape. The story (via VinePair) is that when Venice was at it’s peak of prestige and power, it’s wealthier citizens used the Dorona as a display of wealth.
“What makes the Dorona grape so special for Venice… is that it was much easier to find wine in ancient Venice than actual grapes. Grapes were very hard to grow, and due to the city’s location on a central trading route, it was much more common to find wine from Italy’s other regions. This means grapes were a prized possession, so you can just imagine what a grape that was indigenous to Venice meant to the population.”
Over the years, its popularity faded and changes in trade introduced new fresh grapes to Venice. Then in 1966, the city experienced the worst flooding in its history. After two days under salt water, the vineyards were destroyed. The Dorona was thought to be lost.
Until 2002. Winemaker Gianluca Bisol happened to notice a garden vineyard while on the island of Torcello, visiting the Cathedral of Torcello. After meeting the homeowner, he got a pleasant surprise.
“To my father’s amazement, she said some of the vines were Dorona,” Matteo says.
After discovering the Dorona was alive and well, Bisol sought out more. He found 80 vines in total, and decided to replant a vineyard. With cuttings from Torcello, the Bisol family planted two acres on the island of Mazzorbo and surrounded them with gardens and orchards, like in ancient Venice. In 2010, those vineyards brought forth the first Venissa Dorona wine.
To pay homage to the history and iconic stature of the golden grape wine and the Venetian upper class that used to consume it, the Bisol family chose to label the bottle with pressed gold leaf.
With only one craftsman left in Venice who practices goldsmithing, it takes time to get each individual label made by hand which adds to the rarity and individuality of the wine.
At $200 a bottle, it’s exactly the kind of wine you buy only for a splurge or a special occasion. But hey… we all have times when we’d like to be treated like royalty. Why not indulge in a little of the very wine enjoyed by the richest members of the Venetian elite! You’re a wine god now, remember? You’ve earned it!