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Bisol ready to pick first grapes from Venetian island

Prosecco producer Bisol will pick the first commercial vintage at its property in the Venetian lagoon this week.

Bisol planted the 1-ha walled vineyard at Tenuta di Venissa on the island of Mazzorbo with an authentic – and rare – Venetian white variety called Dorona.

Wine growing flourished on the islands around Venice as early as the15th century, but has been abandoned in modern times, and Bisol scoured the lagoon for the last remaining examples of Dorona, a distant relative of the Garganega of Soave.

The resulting wine, called Venissa, is on sale now as a future, with the first consignment due in February 2012.

The wine will be made under the supervision of high-profile consultant Roberto Cipresso.

Bisol’s technical director Desiderio Bisol said the wine will be dry with ‘delicate fruit aromas on the nose and a distinctive tangy-mineral character on the palate’.

This year’s grapes will be floated across the water in frigo containers and vinified at Bisol’s Valdobbiadene winery, but there are plans to build a winemaking facility in the lagoon itself. This will also be used as a basis for the development of new vineyards on other islands.

‘Tourism has brought about the depopulation of the lagoon. We hope in the future to be able to contribute to revitalising the islands through the production of unique terroir wines,’ general manager Gianluca Bisol said.

The wine is being sold in six-bottle lots at €50 per bottle. It will come in 50cl bottles of specially-commissioned, hand-crafted Murana glass, flecked with gold leaf.

Written by Richard Baudains

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