How to Plan your own Prosecco Tour in Italy

It was quite by accident that I found myself searching for a Prosecco tour in Italy. I planned to visit Venice, but I hadn’t really made the connection that this northern part of Italy is where Prosecco is from. Duh!

It was just a few weeks before I flew to Venice when an email fell into my inbox – a regular round-up of what was going on in Italy and, most tantalisingly, a full run-down of Primavera (Spring) in Prosecco.

As bad timing would have it, my trip was a few days shy of the spring festival in Prosecco, but a grape seed was planted and I decided to take a trip to Prosecco anyway.

The Prosecco Wine Region

Prosecco Tour Map

Map from www.prosecco.it

Prosecco is a region in northern Italy and it’s in that region where you’ll find all the magic that produces that delicious sparking Italian wine that we all know and love.

 

 

Prosecco Tour - Map of Italy

Map from www.prosecco.it

The region is just 50 kilometres (30 miles) from Venice in the Treviso province and covers over 20,000 hectares. That’s pretty impressive given the land is wedged between the Dolomites and the Adriatic and is perilously hilly, with the grapes growing at 50-500 metres above sea level.

In fact, of all the wine regions in the all the world (and I’ve been to a few of them), I’ve never seen anything as dramatic as the vineyards of Prosecco – the region makes the Champagne region in France look like child’s play to cultivate – and with it’s fierce topography it’s no surprise to find that the Prosecco region has gained UNESCO World Heritage status.

Trying and failing to find a Prosecco tour in Italy

Prosecco Tour

I’ve tried various approaches to wine tasting in the past. I’ve been on a self-drive trip with a group of friends (Beaujolais, France); I’ve pitched up for a formal tasting at big brands (Veuve Cliquot, Champagne); I’ve headed straight for the restaurant for lunch and a flight of wines on a big estate (Concha y Torro, Chile), I’ve taken a formal tour (Napa and Sonoma, California), I’ve even arranged my own tasting through research and buying a bunch of local bottles (Cremant, Loire Valley).

For Prosecco I decided I wanted to take a tour – I wanted to see the region as much as taste the wine and although I’ve seen enough vines that I didn’t feel the need to see any more, I didn’t know the producers and brands well enough – I wanted someone to show me around and explain what was what.

However, I stumbled across a few problems when I was hunting for a Prosecco tour:

  • there were relatively few tours on offer, which cut down choice and competition pretty dramatically;
  • most of the tours were days trips from Venice – I didn’t want to spend my time and money being chauffeured for a couple of hours. I wanted to spend it drinking Prosecco in Prosecco!
  • I also wanted at least one night’s stop over – I don’t feel like I’ve haven’t really experienced a place unless I’ve seen the sun rise and sun set on its soil;
  • a number of the tours combined a sightseeing package and I’m at that point where I’ve seen enough churches in Italy to last me all of my lifetimes;
  • many of the tour companies didn’t include clear pricing on their websites so I had to email for more information – some wanted me to sign up for their newsletter to access prices (er, no thanks), others didn’t reply and the rest were priced way north of what I wanted to pay.

Which brings me to price – the prosecco tours were all coming in far too expensive –  ranging from €150 per person up to as much as €600. You’d have thought I was trying to buy sparkling diamonds not sparkling wine. Of the tours I looked at, most offered two or three wineries, a spot of lunch, transport and guide. That was the same format even for the higher priced tours. I’d have expected a small plot of land at those prices. I was one of 3 people. There was no way we were throwing down €550 to €1800 to sip some bubbles. Have you any idea how many bottles of Prosecco that could buy me? does maths – a lot!

So, I decided to take another route. I decided to plan my own tour of Prosecco…at a sip of the cost.

And the first rule of planning your own tour is doing your research. For a self-guided Prosecco tour, that meant figuring out my DOCGs from my DOCs and ITGs because if I was going tasting, I wanted to taste the best Prosecco…

Tasting the best Prosecco – knowing your DOCG from your DOC and ITG?

Prosecco Tour

When someone takes you on a winery tour, you trust that they’re taking you to the best selection of wineries on offer (though you should always check that’s the case).

When you’re planning your own tour, the onus is on you to find out where to go and at which wineries to do a tasting. Which led me very directly to the question – what is the best Prosecco (because I ain’t going all that way to sip on the stuff from the discount bin)?

A quick bit of research told me that despite the region being reasonably small, there are still a lot of producers in Prosecco (enough to fill a magazine) and choosing between them can be hard.

The terroir, methods used by the producer (tank method versus traditional method, small tanks versus large tanks), the grapes used and climate during a particular year are just some of the factors that can affect the taste of a Prosecco. But if you’re not an expert and just want to taste the best Prosecco, an excellent starting point is to look for a Prosecco that has DOCG status.

If you didn’t know already, Italy has a formal wine classification system that attaches DOCG, DOC or ITG status to the best wines in a region. The system tests wine according to a strict set of rules related to quality, authenticity and production, type of grapes, alcohol content and ageing. The DOC system follows the AOC system in France and is also used for designating the quality of cheese (seems sensible given wine and cheese are an inseparable pair…at least in my life). Of course, other wines exist beyond these designations but they don’t merit the status of ‘best’.

In order of drinking priority, you should look for:

DOCG (Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita) -DOCG wines have conformed to the strictest standards and therefore have the highest denomination in Italy. This is the best Prosecco. (Actually, Superiore di Cartizze is the best Prosecco but that (cartizze) is a very tiny area located within DOCG)

DOC (Denominazione di Origine Controllata) – Although DOC wines also have to comply with strict standards, the standards are less strict than for DOCG wines. As a result, DOC wines are much more commonly found.

ITG (Indicazione Geografica Tipica): this third category is reserved for wines that may not meet all of the standards of a DOC wine but are nevertheless considered to be very good.

Of course, searching for DOCG, DOC and ITG isn’t the definitive solution to finding the best wine in Italy. Some producers get better, some get worse and some just don’t fall within the right region. However, it’s a pretty fine starting point if you’re visiting Prosecco.

You might be interested in my Cheat’s Guide to Sparkling Wine.

Finding DOCG in Prosecco: The Prosecco Road

 

Prosecco Tour region

Map from www.prosecco.it

There are only 73 DOCG wines in the whole of Italy (you can see the full list here) and classification of Prosecco’s wines has been a bit controversial in recent years. In fact, it wasn’t until 2009 that Prosecco could claim any DOCG wines at all – they were all DOC or ITG.

However, thanks to some lobbying by the top-tier producers, a distinction was made between those wine makers who harvested their grapes on the slopes in the finest conditions and those who grew their grapes on the flat of the Treviso valley or didn’t comply with the strict production requirements to merit DOCG status (the technical name is Prosecco Superiore DOCG and you’ll also see it referred to as Conegliano Valdobbiadene Superiore but we’ll stick with DOCG).

Did you know:  When I last checked, around 70 million bottles of DOCG Prosecco were produced compared to 230 million Prosecco DOC bottles that year. Looking at these numbers you can start to understand why DOCG’s the best Prosecco.

The upshot: there are now three regions in Prosecco that have DOCG status. 

The regions are:

Conegliano

Valdobiaddene

Asolo

Out of the three regions, a wonderful low-key tourism route has arisen between the towns of Conegliano and Valdobiaddene and the road between the two has been named the Prosecco Road. Yes, that’s right: Strada del Vino di Prosecco, and it’s the perfect place to visit if you’re taking yourself on a Prosecco Tour. (Asolo prosecco is a little further west so isn’t included on the route).

Don’t confuse the grape (Glera) with the region (Prosecco)

There is no such thing as the ‘Prosecco grape’, in the same way as there is no such thing as a ‘Champagne grape’. Prosecco wine is made from Glera grapes. I hadn’t heard of them either (you don’t ever hear Prosecco being called Glera), until I started doing my research on Prosecco. (Champagne, by the way, is mainly produced from three grapes – Chardonnay,  Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier. More here).

Despite there being no grape called Prosecco, it’s not uncommon for certain producers to play with consumers’ naivety. By using the phrase Prosecco grape it’s easy to confuse an inexperienced wine buyer into thinking they are getting Prosecco from the Prosecco region when, in fact, the bottle contains sparkling wine made using Glera grapes that have never been planted in soil within the Prosecco region and might come from a different region altogether. For example, the Friuli-Venezia Giulia region to the east of Vento has recently started producing sparkling wine from the Glera grape.

So, when you’re buying Prosecco hat home, look for the place where the Prosecco is from not the grape it’s made from.

Interested in knowing more about Prosecco and how to choose good Prosecco, you can read my blog post here which will tell you the difference between extra dry and dry Prosecco (which is actually sweeter than Brut) and what to look for when you’re buying Prosecco to drink at home.  

How to plan your own Prosecco tour (for a sip of the cost)

Prosecco Tour

With a survival-level knowledge of the region, the Prosecco designations, the grape and the Prosecco road, it was time to plan my own Prosecco Tour. Here’s what I did (and how much it cost me).

Prefer to book a Prosecco tour?

Since my first visit, I’ve been back to the Prosecco region several more times and I have set up a Prosecco themed travel blog – Visit Prosecco Italy

Even better, working with local drivers, I’ve put together a choice of tours following the itinerary in this post. Prices start at €250 for your entire group (that’s just over €30 per person if you can form a group of 8).

You can book online here. You can even arrange it as a Prosecco tour from Venice. 

By all means, read on but if what you’re really after is a tour, head over and check out the tours I’ve put together. 

You can find a is a video here of what you can expect on one of the tours.

Since setting up the site nearly 1,000 people have made bookings. You can read reviews here.

To hire a car to go Prosecco wine tasting?

The biggest conundrum I had about my self-guided tour of Prosecco was whether or not to hire a car – to get to Prosecco and then to get around.

Getting to the Prosecco region from Venice by train

As a general rule, I’d rather not hire a car if there is a reasonable public transport option (better for the environment and all that) and in this case the public transport option to get me to the Prosecco region from Venice promised to be both quicker and cheaper.

From Venezia Santa Lucia train station you can take a direct train to Conegliano (you cannot get to Valdobieddene by train). Trains run approximately every hour with more in the morning and fewer throughout the day. The journey takes around 50 minutes (depending whether you take a fast or slow train) and costs around €6 for a single ticket. You can book online in advance on the GoEuro website. As this is a short distance train, you’re currently unable to buy tickets in advance with Tren Italia but you can buy them on the day at the train station.

Venezia Santa Lucia is located on Venice Island (the tourist part) and can be reached by public water bus (known as the Vaporetto). Get off at the Ferrovia stop. You can find a free Vaporetto route map here.

Cost: €12 for a return ticket to Conegliano from Venice.

You might also like my list of things NOT to do in Venice (and things to do instead) as well as my guide to the best restaurants in Venice.

Pro travel tip: Be careful that you don’t accidentally buy a ticket from Venice Mestere – you’d need to take another train from Venice island to Mestere to make your connection!

Getting around the Prosecco wine region

Prosecco Tour

Getting to the Prosecco region from Venice was easy enough but how to get around without a tour wasn’t quite so clear from my internet research.

I knew that there were a Hertz car hire in Conegliano but I didn’t want to hire a car – I won’t take even a sip of wine and get behind a wheel and, let’s face it, I wasn’t going to Prosecco just to see the scenery (as beautiful as it was).

I researched public transport in the area and fast came up with zilch, which left me in the turn-up-and-see-what-happens camp. It’s not ideal, especially when you’re visiting a place for just one night, but fortunately it paid of.

For just €50 an hour, I could hire a taxi through my hotel. It felt like a high price at the time and I tried to haggle with zero results but with no other options I went for it and despite my initial reservations it turned out to be the perfect choice -“Taxi” was a misnomer, I realised when the dapperly dressed driver pulled up in his top-end Mercedes. He wasn’t just a taxi driver – he was a full -on guide offering a luxury ride.

How long do you need to explore Prosecco?

Prosecco Tour

By the time I arrived in Conegliano, explored the town a little, checked into the hotel and did some decision making about car hire versus taxis, the mid-day siesta had arrived (yeah, I thought only the Spaniards could claim that but it’s a thing in parts of Italy too). With time dripping away faster than an upended Prosecco bottle, I started to get antsy. But I needn’t have. The driver arrived at 3 p.m, when the wineries were re-opening for afternoon business, and I was assured that 3 hours was enough time to drive the entire Prosecco Road (it takes about 50 minutes each way), taste some Prosecco and have a bite to eat.

The the road is Prosecco road is 60 km (37 miles).

Cost: the taxi hire worked out at €150 for the 3 hour rental including guide. That broke down to €50 each in my case because there were three of us travelling. If I could do it again, with a bit more planning and better decision-making, I’d have taken an extra hour to fit in one more winery, so the cost would have been €200.

Where to taste Prosecco in Prosecco: Col Vetoraz

Update 2019: in case you didn’t see it above, I have other, smaller, less busy, more exclusive wineries to recommend for you. I’m keeping Col Vetoraz here because they will always have a special place in my heart, being the first Prosecco winery I visited, but they have expanded dramatically and the experience is no longer the same. If you want to find out more about the other Prosecco wineries I love, they’re on my Visit Prosecco Italy website here.

Prosecco tour

Due to my short time frame, indecision and late start, I only had time to visit one winery, but I was completely fine with that – because the guide on my food tour in Venice had given me the low-down on the best place to taste Prosecco in the region. And, yes, it was a DOCG winery: Col Vetorazz.

Col Vetoraz is located closer to Valdobiaddene than Conegliano which had the significant advantage of requiring a drive along almost the entire Prosecco Road to get there. And even though I was conscious of the clock, I still had time to get out at vantage points along the way for some pictures. (This is where the guide came into his own – explaining the history of the region and pointing out the best spots for panoramas).

At Col Vetoraz, I was welcomed in by an English speaking lady who proceeded to pop open bottles of fizz at my whim. Did I want to try a brut? A rose? An extra brut? A Superior? A red? Yes, yes, yes and what, a red, hell why not – yes!

Between myself and my two travel companions, we planned to buy just a few bottles between us…maybe take some back to England. However, realising that the winery prefers to sell bottles by the case, it didn’t take long for us to upgrade from a few bottles to a couple of cases! (I can highly recommend that you try the red wine in the Prosecco region – it was excellent enough at Col Vetoraz to merit buying a case of the stuff).

Do you have to pay for tasting the Prosecco?

Wineries and vineyards differ the world over on whether you have to pay for the wine that you taste. In France it’s common to pay a euro or two per glass, but that charge usually evaporates the second you buy a bottle. In bigger wineries (like the big Champagne houses), there’s usually a tourist board showing a list of fees that often include a tour and a tasting costing up to €50. In Prosecco there was no mention of price per glass and I didn’t pay a single cent for the wine I tasted. If you’re unsure, ask before you start tasting!

Update: there is now a tasting fee from around €7 to €20. It sounds like a lot but you get up to 7 different Prosecco to try (impressive size pourings), a walk through the different types of Prosecco and, if you opt for the full tasting, local meat and cheese so you can do a proper Prosecco and food pairing. Yes, that’s right. I said wine and cheese pairing. 

After my tasting at Col Vetoraz I did have enough time to squeeze in another winery, but with two cases of wine already in the car, I had other plans in mind… (if you have more time to explore, you can plan you trip further here).

My favourite recently discovered website for planning which wineries is here – you can check a list of many (but not all?) wineries including searching by type of Prosecco and brand as well as check opening times and location.

Cost for the tasting: €0 (what you buy beyond the tasting is entirely up to you! The bottles I bought were priced around €9 per bottle).

Where to eat lunch: Osteria Senz’Oste

Prosecco tour

Ok, so at 4 p.m. I was a little on the late side for lunch, but this is Italy – where time has more flexibility. Plus, after the wine tasting my stomach required some sustenance.

The second place recommended to me by my food tour guide in Venice was Osteria Senz’Oste but I already knew about the place from my pre-trip research. Senze’Oste meaning without host, this Osteria was conveniently located adjacent to Col Vetoraz and has quirky written all over it. A simple stone house, this osteria offered weary (read: tipsy) travellers a place to stop and refuel. The fridge contained packs of cheese, cured meats, bread, water, juice and, of course, wine.

Prosecco Tour

‘Without host’ is an accurate description because the Osteria runs on an honour system. You tap into the till your purchases and it rings up your bill. After you pay (by credit card or cash), you have the choice of the wooden tables inside or, on a nice day, the views and tables outside.

Prosecco Tour

Except our driver had other plans for me and my travel chums. Put the Prosecco back in the car, he instructed me (I’m sure I heard somewhere it’s a criminal offence to eat cheese in the Prosecco region without washing it down with bubbles). I wasn’t too quick to comply with the instruction but the driver smiled and said follow me. Always game for an adventure, I finally did as I was told and followed him uphill…

Cost: around €12 for bread, salami and cheese for 3 people.

Update: I’ve eaten in a lot of places in Prosecco since I wrote this post. You can find them all here and I’m regularly adding more as I go. Better yet, I’ve found the best gelateria in all of Italy. 

How to vend Prosecco in Prosecco

Prosecco tour

So, this goes down as one of my best discoveries in ALL of my travels – at the top of a steep winding hill in the Prosecco region there is a lone machine where you can vend perfectly chilled Prosecco. Of course, you can vend glasses too (for just €2.50 each) and someone has thoughtfully places some rudimentary tables near the machine where you can enjoy your tipple. Complete with the picnic purchased from the osteria at the bottom of the hill, I can’t remember if I’ve ever had such a picturesque lunch.

You can read more about visiting the Prosecco vending machine in my blog post here.

Prosecco Tour

Note: in order to vend from the machine you need an Italian ID – my driver had his at the ready complete with a recommendation for which Prosecco to choose.

Cost: around €25 for a bottle of chilled Prosecco plus three glasses.

Where to stay in Conegliano

Prosecco Tour

Conegliano is a small town and there isn’t much to see or do there so, in hindsight and having figured out how to hire a Prosecco driver myself, I wouldn’t recommend staying there. For a town that is at the tail end of the Prosecco Road I would have expected countless restaurants and bars offering flights of Prosecco and other tasting opportunities that capitalise on the town’s location but there was nothing. Nothing at all.

There are a few places to stay in Conegliano. I paid just under €100 a night which felt like a fair deal at the time (compared to Venice) but having now stayed elsewhere, the value for money doesn’t add up. If you’re hiring a car or a driver, there are much better locations to stay.

You can read more about where to stay in the Prosecco region on my ‘sister’ site: Visit Prosecco Italy.

Cost of my self-guided tour to Prosecco

Train ticket (return): €12

Taxi hire (3 hours): €150

Tasting: free

Lunch at Osteria: £12

Prosecco Vending: €25

Note: I haven’t included the cost of the hotel as accommodation was not included in the tours I looked at.

Total Cost: €199 – based on three people sharing, the cost was just €66 each!

It may have been a short excursion to Prosecco, but it turned out to be a definitely highlight of my trip to Italy – and all for a sip of the cost of a taking a Prosecco tour.

How to book your Prosecco wine trip

I’ve taken my itinerary above and working with several local drivers, we have put together a choice of itineraries that will take you to the best wineries, restaurants and sightseeing spots in the Prosecco region. You can even book online. You can find out more about the tours, see the itineraries and book your trip here.

Not ready to book yet? You can sign up to the Visit Prosecco Italy newsletter for updates as well as special offers.

Have you been to Prosecco? Any other tips for taking a self-guided tour? Let me know in the comments below. 

If this has sparked your interest, you can find out more about wine grapes with a look at 20 of the most popular varieties thanks to this guide from Wine Turtle.

 

91 thoughts on “How to Plan your own Prosecco Tour in Italy”

  1. Hi Jo, thanks for the great article. We areconsidering visiting the area and doing a self guided cycling trip. Any thoughts would be appreciated.

    Reply
  2. Kia ora from Aotearoa New Zealand. Wow – thank you so much for this amazing information. I stumbled across it by accident, but consider it a wonderful Godsend. Thanks again for sharing.

    Reply
  3. Hi Jo-

    I am currently trying to plan a trip with my girlfriend and we are attempting to work out pricing. Do you have any update on whether or not the wineries in Prosecco are now charging for tasting or if there is any way for us to find out? Please let me know when you get a chance. Thanks!

    Reply
    • Hi Joey, most of the wineries do now charge for tasting – between €5 to €15 for a ‘flight’ (3-7 glasses). I have set up a separate website with much more detail, which I hope will help. If you have more specific questions, feel free to message one of the drivers. http://www.visitproseccoitaly.com I hope you have a wonderful trip.

      Reply
  4. Wow, thanks so much for this post. What a great find. I was going to try and work this out on my own, but you did a great job with planning and resources.

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  5. Dear Jo and Oriana,
    We a looking to come to venice and explore the region over new year and i would love to surprise my other half with a fabulous day in the prosecco hills! Oriana, you come highly recommended, what is the best way to contact you regarding availability please?
    Thank you,
    Emma.

    Reply
  6. Hi, I want to thank you for your information-packed website. We will be in Venice next week, celebrating our anniversary, and have booked your tour with Giorgio for next Saturday, Oct. 13. I love all things bubbly, so we are excited to learn all we can about the Glera grapes, DOGC vs. DOC in Conegliano. We will be toasting you ? during out Prosecco tour.

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  7. Thanks so much for this information. I’m just back from a stay at Treviso. We found the TI at Treviso and Conegliano quite unhelpful about Prossecco tours as I mistakenly thought that once at Conegliano there would be local tours rather than ones through websites. We went into the Great Western (not like you were expecting!) and were given a contact e-mail for a taxi driver. I was hoping we might get lucky and there was a tour we could join but that was before I realised that this was unlikely to happen.I went to Treviso to go to Venice really so this Prossecco route was discovered whilst there. The train from Treviso is very cheap to Conegliano and about 25 minutes. There is the airport at Treviso too so Treviso is really a better (cheaper) option for both Venice and Prossecco. I intend to go back and have a tour and found your information invaluable, Thanks. Chris

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    • Hi Chris, I made the exact same mistake and assumption. I hope you get a chance to return and do things better. It really is worth it.

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  8. Hi! We are planning a prosecco tour in late September. Do you happen to know if the wineries ship back any bottles you purchase or is it best to pack a bottle or two to bring home?

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  9. Do you by any chance know if you can visit these places in December? I know the weather will be on the cooler side, but my husband and I are honeymooning then!

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    • Hi Tara, yes you can! In fact, I think it’s a great time to visit because there are fewer visitors. Good luck with the wedding!

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  10. My best buddie and I are currently relaxing round the pool at Hotel Villaguarda near Follina, after a very busy prosecco tour yesterday. We read your blog a year back and having just started up our own little prosecco van, you filled us with inspiration to go off and find out more about the product we’re selling. After a couple of days of relaxing and going to some local areas we met up with Oriana (aka the queen of the hills) and she whisked us off into the lush green hills of Prosecco. She took us to 3 wineries each very different but each with their own charm, and the most stunning restaurant with beautiful views. She even dropped us off at a local festival and picked us up later. She is such an amazing character and full local knowledge. We would recommend the ‘Queen of the Hills’ to anyone who wants to enhance their prosecco tour experience. Thanks for your great artical it gave us the information we need to make our weekend perfect. Em & Em (Emily & Emma)

    Reply
    • Hi Yvonne, I think tipping is a very personal matter. I loathe the required tipping that goes on in the US because I’d much rather choose whether to add a bonus based on performance than have a mandatory 20% added to my bill.
      For the drivers, it’s optional but I understand that most people are so pleased with the service that they do offer something, even if it’s a small amount. I hope you have a great time in the Prosecco region.

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  11. So glad to have found your blog/sites! My wife & I will be honeymooning thru Italy 5-18 Sept and tho Venice was not on my must-see list, it is on hers. She loves all bubbles and I want to surprise her with a day in prosecco-land, so stumbling upon your writings was a God-send. I wish we had time to get to some of the amazing Amarone houses while in the area, maybe next time! Villa Abazzia is booked, but it looks like I can get us into dei Chiostri for the night of 08 Sept as we transition from Venice and before hitting Florence for a few days. Will your code work at this sister hotel also?

    My plan is to train from Rome to Venice, Venice to Conegliano the next day, and hire one of your recommended drivers for Saturday in the vineyards! Do you know if it’s possible to train from Conegliano to Florence, or will we need to train back to Venice & onward to Florence?

    Also, we will spend some days amongst the vines South of Florence (Chianti or Montalcino I think), do you have any recommendations for wineries in that region?

    Many thanks! – Tony

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    • Hi Tony, so happy to help – and congrats on the upcoming wedding and honeymoon! A trip to Prosecco is the best surprise gift (very romantic). I’m afraid my rate doesn’t extend to dei Chiostri but I’m sure if you email the hotel they can arrange to put a bottle of Prosecco in the room for you for a small cost. Unfortunately I know for a fact that it’s not possible to go direct from Conegliano to Florence because I have taken this trip myself. Still, it’s not too bad going back into Venice (and we had 12 bottles of wine to carry!)

      At the moment I don’t have any recommendations for vineyards south of Florence but it’s something I’m going to look into. If I get to it before September, I’ll let you know. Have an amazing trip and message me if you have any more questions. Oh, also I love Rome2Rio.com for planning routes and public transport.

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  12. Hi, Jo
    I now live in the prosecco area near a little hamlet called Arfanta. Fabulous views from my house.

    I think one of the most beautiful parfs of this arewa is around Rolle – not much more than a church and an excellent restaurant which also does b&b there. Just out side Rolle thereis a small waterfall that feeds some basins which were used in the past to water stock and for local women to do their washing. Leave Rolle towards Refrontolo and you will come to the molinetto della Croda, one of the last working water mills in Italy and a very pretty spot.

    I have noticed more b&bs openi g recently asthe area becomes more open to tourists.

    Most wineries are open all year and I don’t know of any where you pay. One of my favourites is Croset at Guietta where the wine is produced by Rita. She also produces cartizze which is the king of proseccos and is made from grapes from a very small area. She speaks some English.

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    • Hi Sonia, thanks for these amazing tips. I stopped by both Rolle and the watermill on my last trip but I must get out to Rita. My experience is that many of the vineyards are now charging tourists for tasting – perhaps it is different if you’re going with the intention of buying rather than comparing five or six glasses?

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  13. THANKS SO MUCH FOR THIS! I’m going with my husband and 2 other couples May 12th, and this helps so much!!!! Did you have a problem not having reservations at the wineries? thats what I’ve been told but you didn’t mention it at all. This is amazing, thank you!

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    • Hi Anna, I’ve replied separately about this but I didn’t have any issues with making bookings because my driver was a regular at the vineyards and they always managed to squeeze us in no matter how busy they were. Have a great trip.

      Reply
  14. This is a wonderful website full of great information. Thank you! Do you by any chance have information if we wanted to do 3 days of hiking between the villages and taste the prosecco along the way? Is this possible?

    Thanks

    Reply
    • Hi, I’m afraid I don’t have details on any hiking trips at the moment but I’ll look into it for you….

      Reply
  15. Hi Jo

    My husband and I are travelling to Italy in the summer this year – taking our 2 girls to Disneyland Paris first and then driving on to Lake Garda. We would really like to sort out a self prosecco tour (hubby might have to be the designated driver!! ? – or could we work around this??). Are children allowed?? My daughters will be 15 and 9.
    Loved reading your blog – thank you x

    Reply
    • Hi Trina, what a nice trip you have planned! You could give your poor husband a break and book a designated driver for the day – that way you can both enjoy the wines. There’s nothing nicer than comparing tasting notes and preferences with someone instead of sharing a few sips between you. I’m pleased to say that children are allowed at the vineyards, though obviously they won’t be allowed to drink (unless they have some really good fake ID, ha ha). But at their age, the hills and pathways should give them enough interesting terrain to safely explore. I’ve got more details if you’re interested in booking a driver: http://www.visitproseccoitaly.com/

      I hope you have an amazing trip and happy to help 🙂

      Reply
  16. Hi Jo,

    I am so thrilled to have found your site. I am actually in the process of booking a prosecco tour – our date did not work with Ori but she gave me a referral of Roberta and am so very pleased and look forward to spending our tour with her.

    I do have a question. I am going to book an overnight with Hotel Abbazia, I have used your code for the complimentary gifts for the room. When I try to book with the code, the site tells me all the rooms are booked for that time, in fact all the dates in the calendar are marked as red and unavailable. But when I try and book without using the code, everything is open and available. I was wondering if the code was still valid? Worse case, I thought I would just put the code in the comments section. I wanted the hotel to know I found them thru you!

    Thanks for any assistance on this and thank you for what you do! I am so, so, so looking forward to our tour in April!

    Reply
    • Hi Soraya, I have also travelled through Prosecco with Roberta and can happily say you will have a great day with her! In terms of the hotel, I have send an email to my contact there to find out more. I’d recommend emailing about booking to check you will get the free gifts and book directly that way. They will reply in English and it should hopefully be straight forward. I stayed there recently and have to advice you that the mozzarella for breakfast is a good choice 🙂

      I’m so excited for you – have an amazing trip!

      Reply
  17. Hi Jo,
    Great article! It inspired us to allow time for a visit before we head to Venice. Love the self serve restaurant and Prosecco machine! I must do that!

    I know you stayed in Conegliano, but now that you’ve been, would that still be your choice or do you think there is a better choice for 1-2 nights?

    Ciao!
    Tammy

    Reply
    • Hi Tammy, I’m glad you like the article and, yes go and check out the Prosecco machine and self-serve osteria – I’ve not seen anything quite like them. I’ve just been back to Prosecco and this time I stayed in the beautiful town of Follina. It was more picturesque than Conegliano with great bars and restaurants to choose from and a beautiful cathedral. Plus, you’re right in the middle of the region. I recommend a hotel in Follina in my post. You will need either your own car or to use a driver to get there because there are no public transport connections. However, if you do take a booking with Oriana, mentioned in my post, you can arrange for her to collect you from a nearby train station and drop you off back there when you leave. I’ll be updating my article in the next few weeks, so if you subscribe to the Prosecco newsletter (link in the post), I’ll send out an email once it’s up-to-date. Hope you have an amazing trip!

      Reply
    • Hi Albert, no worries! I’m getting amazing feedback about Oriana and I’m planning to return to Prosecco region very shortly to meet with her. When I do, I will update this post. Have a fun and fizz filled trip.

      Reply
      • Hi Jo
        Found your website in april. I have written to you before but heard nothing. I did email oriana and reserved a day with her september19 for prosecco tour. It was fabulous and she is the prosecco queen! There were 4 ladies from san francisco area, took the train to susegana and met by her. Drove thru the small towns, villages and gorgeous countryside. She was very informative and funny since she is a native of this area. The tastings were great, stopped and had lunch that was so good. Was able to stop and take pictures along the way. After our long day of touring and tasting she dropped us back off at train station. With our 3 bottles of prosecco we bought, came back to our fabulous apartment in venice (cannareggio area) and celebrated more with the fizz
        Thanks for your article and i will put it out there if anyone interested with getting away from some of the maddening crowds and chaos that can happen there. It was a “calgon take me away day”

        Reply
        • Hi Marian, I’m so pleased you all had an amazing trip! I’m due to meet Oriana tomorrow 🙂 I’m so sorry I didn’t reply to your email/message in April. I’ve checked both the comments and my emails and I don’t seem to have received it. I can be slow sometimes but I usually reply eventually. Sorry this one seemed to have passed me by but I’m pleased you were able to enjoy a visit to Prosecco. I will raise a glass to you and your friends with Oriana tomorrow 🙂 Also, if you could send me details of your rental in Venice, I would be most grateful. I’m forever searching for a good place but I never seem to find one!

          Reply
          • Hi Jo
            I know you enjoyed your time with Oriana, great, lovable, and funny “prosecco queen”
            I’m no expert on traveling but I know what i like and want when I do. Few years ago we stayed at Ca Badoer dei Barbacani in the west studio. It has a small lift which was great, the owners (kettie and peter are great). Last month we stayed at La Levantina, a two bedroom one bath ground floor apartment. There is a outside patio to enjoy our prosecco and wine, a small balcony overlooking the canal seeing the gondolas glide by. It also is very private and rudi and ricardo are great to work with. A short walk from san marcuola vaporetto stop up and over a small bridge and down an alley. Away from the chaos and maddening crowds of saint marks square and rialto bridge. I do have some mobility issues so i always look for ground floors or lifts in places we stay and usually apartments are for me and friends. Another site is cross-pollinate.com. I have never used them but worth looking at. I did spend one night at Hotel Carlton Capri across grand canal from train station, very small double room. Hope this helps you out. After Venice we flew to Paris for 5 days and did a 2CV car tour to Reims, champagne region. Took a train from Paris to Reims then met guides from A L’Allure Champenoise for about a 3 hour tour of vineyards, wineries, towns and areas of importance. Then onto Amsterdam with a stay in a houseboat. We had a great vacation. Hope this helps you out. Thanks
            Princess Pupule

            Reply
            • PS
              Please pray for my neighbors in napa/sonoma wine country and mendocino with the horrible and tragic fires and lives we have lost. I live about half an hour away, it is so sad to see the devastation that has happened. The air is so full of smoke and ash, you can smell the smoke. Have friends in that area, know that one of them was spared with their new home in Glen Ellen but neighbors left with nothing. Keep all of them in your thoughts and prayers.
              Aloha Princess Pupule

              Reply
  18. Dear Jo – I want to thank you for your information. We were in Venice in July 2017. We wanted to see the vinyards of Italy up close and personal. While resting in our Airbnb, with no plan ahead of us, I found your blog. After figuring the cost to get to Conegliano using best tranportation from Venice, we quickly decided to rent a car ourself. It was my husband, myself and our 22 year old daughter. As none of us are big drinkers, we decided a designated driver was not really necessary. We did make an attempt to hire Oriana, with a quick response from her that she was booked up, our problem since we were very last minute. We were disappointed to find two, what we thought would be local vineyards along the way that turned out to be factories. We finally plugged in the Osteria Senz’Oste to our GPS. We found exactly what we were desiring. The views of the hills of Italy and the vinyards were breath taking. The small towns we past through were just charming. Once there, we were overwhelmed with the area. Thank you for your advice. You made that day the best day or our European trip. Would love to share a picture or two .

    Reply
    • Hi Christine, that’s such a lovely story and I’m so pleased you got to experience the region of Prosecco – isn’t it beautiful? It’s a shame Oriana was booked, but I’m glad you managed to designate a driver! Yes, please on the pictures. If you’re on Facebook, feel free to go and share them with me there: https://Facebook.com/indianajoblogs or email me at jo @ indianajo.com

      Reply
    • Awww. Thanks Claudia! It’s comments like that that keep me and this blog going! Hope you have a great time in Prosecco.

      Reply
  19. Hi Jo,

    Just wanted to stop by and say thank you for this, it’s been extremely helpful in planning a trip of our own next month. I’m planning on heading up there on Sunday 13 August and it sounds like a lot of the wineries close very soon after for holidays. Hopefully we can get in there just before they do.

    Unfortunately Oriana is busy and a few other options I tried were a bit too expensive, so I’m planning to drive and let the mrs do all the tasting. The scenery will be enough for me!

    Not sure how we’ll get around the Prosecco vend though!

    Just out of curiousity, how much are we talking for a case of Prosecco?

    Thanks again Jo – this really is gold.

    Martin

    Reply
  20. Hi Jo. Thanks for all your tips! My husband and I are so happy we made it to the land of prosecco this April 🙂 Through your blog, we hired Oriana and she was the best. She personalized our tour to fit our needs, spend hours with us (and never made us feel rushed), and showed us local spots we would never have found on our own. She was much more than a driver and instead felt like a friend. Highly recommend. The Best Western was great too! All in all a wonderful experience. I hope to go back one day!

    Reply
    • Hi Sahnnon, I’m so pleased that your trip to Prosecco was a success and you enjoyed the Best Weston – it’s a beautiful building, isn’t it. I don’t suppose you have Oriana’s details? I don’t have the details of my driver and I keep getting requests for a contact in the region. I’d love to be able to send people to someone who’s been tried and tested!

      Reply
    • Hi Jo,
      I’m so glad I found your blog post, this is so helpful. Was so disappointed when all I was finding was €150-200 pp.
      I enquired with Oriana but she’s fully booked ? do you have details of the taxi/car company you used?
      Many thanks,
      Emma

      Reply
      • Hi Emma, I’m sad for you that Oriana is booked. I ended up finding my taxi driver through my hotel – the one mentioned above. You could try dropping the hotel an email. Even if you’re not staying there, they might be happy to help. Otherwise, check with your accommodation. They might also be able to help you out.

        Reply
  21. Hey Jo, really insightful read ? Exactly the kind of article I was hoping for but didn’t expect to find. Has given me a solid foundation to start researching from, thanks. Am planning a late September tour of Croatia & Italy with Prosecco being the kind of be all & end all element of the trip. Was wondering if you could answer a few queries I have… So do the wineries shut down for the cooler seasons & if so do you know when that is? Also I’d heard you could hire bicycles to ride between wineries… is this a myth or did you witness or hear anything of the sort? Which leads me into my final question, how long is Prosecco road & whats the kind of distances between wineries? Sorry for the barrage of questions.

    Reply
    • Hi Andy, glad you found the article helpful – it was exactly the kind of information I was looking for too but it didn’t exist when I took my trip 🙂 Let me see if I can answer those questions for you…wineries closing, I’ve just found this super helpful link http://www.prosecco.it/en/wineries/, which I’ll include in the article above, which lists most of the wineries together with opening times. Looking at it, it doesn’t seem seasonal but I’d recommend emailing a couple of the wineries and asking them. Bike rental is available from memory and the distances didn’t seem insurmountable on a bike though I wouldn’t trust myself to have a tipple and then take control of a set of wheels – wear a helmet (safety first, always ;p). I didn’t see any other bikers personally but I didn’t see many other tourists at the time generally. In total, the road is 60 km (37 miles). Hope that helps! Have an amazing trip and have a sip or two of Prosecco for me.

      Reply
  22. Thank you so much for your article. We will be in Venice in September and want to do this! I have to figure out how far the train station is from our hotel and find a driver but I feel more confident that it can be done. Thanks for sharing.

    Reply
    • Hi Chrissy – happy to help. If you have a smartphone, download Maps.Me – it’s a free map app that works on GPS and is entirely offline (after the original download). It will help you figure out the train to hotel route when you arrive in Italy. Have a great trip.

      Reply
  23. Hello, Just the kind of information i was looking for. I got everything from here, in fact more than what i needed. You certainly know what novice people like me look for in a wine tour.

    Reply
  24. Wow fascinating read. Ive been obsessed with Prosecco for a long time and just decided to Google about it and find out where it’s come from and found out there’s a region called Prosecco and the grapes it’s made from. Now I’m curious to visit the town Prosecco and I’m so glad I read your tried and tested tour. Its thanks to you that I’d like to go and try it out myself possibly on my own. thanks again!

    Reply
    • Thanks Giselle – happy to help and yes, do go and taste prosecco in Italy. It’s one of the best trips I’ve taken and I’m sure you’ll enjoy it!

      Reply
  25. This is a good and fun “travel” article for tourists. However, do you know where Prosecco is from? It originated from a town in Friuli-Venezia Giulia called Prosecco in the province of Trieste. Yes, that was PROSECCO the town, not the “Prosecco region” this article states.

    I am a North American who just came back from spending 16 days in the Tre Venezie regions and I have much family there. It is well known what it takes to excite tourists or “stranieri”, and the best proseccos are enjoyed locally without labels and are certainly not mass produced, so you won’t be drinking them in North America.

    Fledgling American journalists have to be careful to take the superficial knowledge they have compiled using Google and Wikipedia as their basis of fundamentals, and articulate it as fact for naive readers who build travel plans around such. The truth is that there is so much cultural wealth and beauty in the regions of both Veneto and Friuli-Venezia Giulia to absorb, but beware of American articles that dictate where to go along some “Prosecco Road”. The very notion of defining culture and travel along these lines is very much North American; where things are always black and white.

    Perhaps a visit to the quiet and unassuming Collio, Colli Orientali del Friuli or Ramandolo DOCG wine regions will provide its own non-Internet education to prosecco lovers. Before one gets started in planning their “Prosecco Road” tour, they may want to ask themselves why they think prosecco is better than vino spumante, or perhaps even what the difference is.

    Reply
    • Thanks for the tips, JR. Of course, tapping into the hyper local experience can herald wonderful things (with the exception of the local wine in Bergerac, IMO!) but not all travellers have the confidence, language skills or, even, interest in investigating the grape on that level. Visiting the Prosecco Road was one of the most fun things I’ve done in Italy and I’d highly recommend it to all of my readers. In fact, I did. I’ll definitely check out those other areas you’ve mentioned because I do love a glass of sparkling wine! So, thanks for that. By the way, I wasn’t sure if your reference to ‘Fledgling American journalists’ was a subtle sideswipe at my “travel” (your emphasis) writing. If so, that makes me sad. Also, I’m British, not American and I’m a blogger and have never professed to be part of the AP ;p

      Reply
  26. Hi Oriana, thanks for stopping by. I’m happy to publish your information here. However, dear readers, please not that I’ve not used this service and can’t therefore review it so please do your own research. If you do use Oriana, do come back and leave a review.

    Reply
  27. Hi Jo, Thanks for this amazing article! I am not sure if you are still checking this blog, but I had a quick question. You mention that you only went to one winery. About how long should you/my group expect to spend at one winery? If we spent 4 hours in the region, do you think we could see 2 or 3?

    Thank you so so so much for your help!

    Reply
    • Hi Kati, glad you liked the article. Obviously the larger your group, the more time you will want (it takes longer to pour and allow 10 people to taste a glass). We were 3 people and probably spent about 45 minutes at the winery including tasting and buying. What you need to factor in is that the wine road takes about 1 hour to drive from end to end in each direction. So, if you have 4 hours, I’d say 2 is definitely achievable, 3 is possible if you’re swift and up for a challenge. Hope that helps…happy Prosecco tasting!

      Reply
  28. If I’m going to do a short day trip from Venice, do you think it will be easy for me to find a private driver at the Conegliano train station?

    Reply
  29. Hi Jo,

    I will be visiting Venice for a few days in May and was hoping to take a day trip to Prosecco, as I am a huge fan of the wine.

    Was hoping you could answer a few questions for me.

    1) In terms of traveling along the road.. Is private car the only option? Is there a local bus route that travels along Prosecco Road? Are taxis so frequent that I could flag one down and hop from winery to winery? Or are the wineries close enough to the point where I could walk?

    2) Are most of the wineries open to the public, or are they private and/or by appointment only? Should I spent time researching the wineries and their policies?

    Thanks in advance for all your help!

    Reply
    • Hi Michael, to answer your questions: 1) I’m afraid there isn’t a bus that covers the route – I looked into that option also. I guess you could try renting a bike but bike and alcohol isn’t always a smart move. You’re also very unlikely to be able to flag down a taxi. We were almost the only car on the road the entire time there and back and I didn’t another taxi the entire time. And, sadly, most of the wineries are far apart – most of them are attached to their plot of vines so the land between each winery is pretty extensive and beyond walking. I know the private driver hire seems expensive but I promise it’s completely worth it. 2) Most of the wineries are open to the public and I just stopped by. However, if there is one that you particularly want to visit, I’d stop by their website. Otherwise, your private driver will be able to help. Hope that answers your questions. Have a great trip and have a glass of Prosecco for me!

      Reply
  30. Hi Jo! Loved your article and have taken lots of notes for our visit! We are hoping to visit this summer but also incorporate Cortina D’Ampezzo into the trip. Trying to work out the best way to go about it….stay in Cortina and travel for an overnight in Conegliano for the prosecco tours and possibly squeezing a day to Venice????? Your advice would be well received? Take care, Fiona

    Reply
    • Hi Fiona, I’ve not been to Cortina D’Ampezzo but looking at a map, I’d use Conegliano as your base for a visit to Venice because of the distance. Venice is best early morning and late at night, however, so you’d do much better spending the night in Venice too if you can. Have an amazing trip!

      Reply
  31. Your article inspired my visit to Conegliano! I am thinking of only doing a day trip before I head to Venice. Do you know if taxis are easy to find in this city?

    Reply
    • Hi Sylvia, I’m so glad you’re going to visit Conegliano – it really is one of the highlights in Italy. From memory, there were plenty of taxis outside the station in Conegliano but if you’re looking to visit the Prosecco road, I’d recommend heading to the Hotel Canon D’Oro and asking if they’ll help you hire a driver. As I’ve just said to another reader, I’m sure if you buy a drink at the bar, they’d be more than willing to help and you can sip your 6euro Prosecco on the hotel’s terrace while you wait for your driver! Here’s a link to the hotel: http://bit.ly/1KaR3Zv

      Reply
  32. Fabulous article and answered many questions I have. We are planning on doing the Prosecco Road area in May. I have been having the same debate about tour/hire car/driver. I MUST visit the vending machine – need to experience that. Do you have the contact details for the driver you used? I’m thinking of doing a trip from Venice to Prosecco Road to Asolo then on to Bellagio. Many thanks.

    Reply
    • Hi Auzkaz, I’m afraid I don’t have the driver’s details but you can book a taxi through the Hotel Canon D’Oro in the centre of the city: http://bit.ly/1KaR3Zv Even if you’re not staying there, I’m sure they’d help and you can sit on their terrace with a glass of Prosecco (6euros) while you wait for your driver to arrive! Have an amazing trip and definitely get to the vending machine.

      Reply
    • Thanks, Paul – we didn’t get the wine home – we drank it 🙂 We took it on the train to Florence where we had an Airbnb rental so we slowly worked our way through it for the rest of the trip. Hic! However, I have carried wine back before rolled into clothes and checked-in. You need to pack carefully and you probably couldn’t get a whole case back that way but you can get some home!

      Reply

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