What is Venissa? It's a vineyard located in Mazzorbo, one of the quieter islands of the Venetian lagoon. It's a peaceful little backwater, joined to Burano by a footbridge. Historically the vineyard was cultivated but the logistic and therefore economical obstacles caused its abandonment for a long time.
The Venissa "estate" represents a perfect example of a “walled vineyard”, which dates back to the fifteenth century. To make it even more charming it's the campanile of the S. Michele Arcangelo church, standing out in the middle of the vineyard, simply amazing.
The vineyard has been revitalised in 2006 thanks to the dedication of the Bisol family and the oenologist Roberto Cipresso, who have been entitled to manage the estate after winning a tender notice of the Venice municipality. The story goes that Bisol rescued the Dorona autoctonous grape variety from extinction, finding the last three surviving plants on the neighboring island of Sant'Erasmo.
After years of dedication today we have the opportunity to taste the Venissa wine, as a result of the growing of the Dorona grape came back to production after Venissa vineyard revitalization. The name comes from Oro, the Italian for gold, and indicates the golden-green and brilliant color of Dorona grapes. The variety was once thought to be identical to Garganega (the one used for Prosecco), but this theory has been disproven. Dorona wines unquestionably rank among the world’s rarest and the only remaining ones are growing at the Venissa estate.
The first vintage has been the 2010 one: a 30 days maceration and a maturation period of 12 months before it's ready.
Only 4.880 rare examples thave been produced and I have been one of the lucky persons who got the chance to taste one of them!
The wine has a plain golden colour; mineral perfumes, typical of the terroir well-balanced by the sweety notes which reminded me about nuts, caramel, peach and honey.
The taste is elegant and charming at the same time; it has a good savoury entrance, without losing its delicacy.
The precious bottle is an homage to the Venice history, to honor the three most important local traditions: wine, gold and glass. The authentic pure golden leaves are produced by a local laboratory and are manually applied to the bottles and then merged in the glass inside the furnaces of the memorable glassmakers Carlo Moretti from Murano.
In the heart of the walled Vineyard stays the Venissa restaurant, a charming and magic place with only 24 seats and a wonderful view to the grapes.
A part from the charm, also the kitchen is worth to mention.. The Growing and Research principles guide the chef Antonia Klugman, always looking for seasonality and vegetable elements. The love for nature, water, the vegetable garden and the orchard guide Antonia in the choice of the raw materials to be used!