Italian Indigenous Varieties: Marzemina Bianca from the Veneto

Marzemina Bianco is a grape that has its home in the Veneto. It is a historic grape which was cited in the 16th and 17th century writings. It can be found in the hills around Breganze and also in Lombardy near the city of Brescia and in the Colli Euganei. It can be found in a number of DOC wines from the Veneto, including Bagnoli, Colli Euganei, and Colli di Conegliano.

It is often blended with other grapes in the Veneto, including with Glera, Verdiso,Boschera, and Vespaiola. It can make still wines but is also often left to mature on the vine in order to make sweet wines. Rarely vinified alone, I found one winery that makes a 100% Marzemina Bianca frizzante style, Azienda Agricola Firmino Miotti. The wine is called Sampagna. The Miotti family decided to make this grape into a 100% mono varietal wine which is “frizzante sur lie” with secondary refermentation in the bottle or naturally frizzante in character. I would love to try it. Maybe next year at Vinitaly.

Firmino Miotti sounds like a very interesting person. He has been working in the vineyards for many years and putting his knowledge into the winery since the 1950s. He took over early in his life because his father passed away. The wines they make use both indigenous and international. The family is responsible for helping to save some ancient varieties that fell into disuse such as Marzemina Bianca also known as Sampagna. Their video is lovely, for those who understand Italian.

Breganze is a town in the province of Vicenza in the Veneto. I visited Vicenza many years ago. I don’t have any recollections of a memorable food or wine experience because I don’t eat their local delicacies ….Vicentini mangiagatti is a typical comment about their predilections. What I do remember though is the splendid Teatro Olimpico by Andrea Palladio. This was his final work. It was built in 1580 and is apparently the oldest surviving indoor theater in Europe.

After that trip I did have a few fantastic dessert wines called Torcolato. I would love to get to know this part of the country better. Salute!

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