Vicenza is a DOC of the Veneto wine region of north-eastern Italy. Its name is that of Veneto's fourth-largest municipality and also of the eponymous province of which it is the administrative center. Geographically, it is the central V of the 'three Vs' which are collectively responsible for the vast majority of Veneto's wine: Verona (by far the most significant of the three), Vicenza and Venezia.
The Vicenza DOC title, granted in 2000, covers almost the entire Vicenza province, including the land already covered by the Gambellara and Monti Lessini DOCs in the west and the Colli Berici, which occupy the southern fifth of the province (the hilly area immediately south of Vicenza town). Vicenza lies at the foot of the Colli Berici hills, whose northernmost point, Monte Berico, overlooks the town's streets and houses. The Basilica di Santa Maria di Monte Berico stands atop the hill, constructed around the year 1430 following two separate sightings of the Virgin Mary, who ordered the church's construction.
The Bacchiglione river flows north-south through Vicenza, en route from the Alps to the Adriatic. The river's water quality has recently fallen to dangerously low levels. The volumes of animal fertilizer washing into the river from its extensive watershed have caused the river to become highly contaminated. Although the province's finer vineyard sites are located higher up on the slopes, there are a number of vineyards, notably around the southern side of Vicenza town, sufficiently close to the river to warrant attention.
The Vicenza wine portfolio holds few surprises for wine students. Its red and white (rosso and bianco) blends are a pre-requisite for modern Italian DOCs, and are based on Merlot and Garganega respectively. The varietals produced under the title are made from the usual suspects, and draw on both international and lesser-known local varieties. The reds are Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Carmenere (these three may also be combined to produce the 'varietal' wine named 'Vicenza Cabernet'), Merlot, Pinot Nero and the local favorite Raboso; the whites are Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Moscato, Riesling and two northern Italian specialties, Garganega and Manzoni Bianco. Interestingly, the Moscato may be made from Moscato Bianco and/or Moscato Giallo, and the Riesling can be either true German Riesling (known here as Riesling Renano) or Riesling Italico (Welschriesling).