The Route to Heaven

Well, heaven for wine lovers at least. I recently took a trip with thewineremedy team to the ever picturesque Lake Garda in Northern Italy. Whilst ostensibly there on holiday, we never miss the opportunity to explore new wine regions and came across the pretty town of Brescia. Brescia and its surrounding hills are a major wine producing region within Lombardy, famous for its sparking wine, Franciacorta. The Colli dei Longobardi wine route runs through the wine district south of Brescia and was formed, like all wine routes, to publicise wine tourism within the region. After taking a trip through the wine route we realised that it was one of the undiscovered gems of the wine world- well worth bringing to the attention of the community.

In previous weeks, many wineremedy members had requested guidance and pointers towards reputable companies that offer wine tours throughout Europe.  Many different companies offer tours to the regions of Bordeaux, Tuscany, Rioja; places which are starting to get a bit crowded. We thought it would be interesting to showcase a lesser known wine region, one that is easily accessible from Milan airport!

The Colli dei Longobardi wine route that we followed showcases several wine producing areas within the province of Brescia, and is stunningly beautiful. Starting from the main town it winds its way south-east, returning to Brescia through the wine-producing districts in the south-west. The organisation listed below offers tours of the area, but we chose to hire a car and explore ourselves. A highlight of the route is a visit to the properties within the appellations Botticino DOC and Botticino DOC Riserva. The wine we tried there was delicious, tannic but very flavoursome, a perfect match for game and red meats. It was one of the many highlights of the day trip, Capriano del Colle DOC Riserva is also worth sampling, as long as the wine is not too young – a tannic beast in early age.

The wine region surrounding Brescia is easily accessible from Milan, the A4 toll Motorway from Milan to Venice takes you directly to the city. There is also a train from Milan to Venice that stops in the centre of Brescia. If you’re not going to take a guided tour then we recommend hiring a car in Milan, you’ll need one to visit the properties dotted around the wine route. When we visited the region we stayed in the village of Montichiari, in the Villa San Pietro Bed and Breakfast. A charming well run property, it is the perfect base for exploring the region and comes highly recommended. (www.abedandbreakfastinitaly.com)

I feel Brescia is a brilliant place to visit, not only because of the physical beauty and delicious selection of wines to sample, but also because our hosts in the wineries were incredibly friendly and welcoming to visitors. It is easy to combine with a city break to Venice or Milan and is unmissable for any wine lover. For those seeking an interesting wine holiday, more information on the wine route can be found at (http://www.stradadelvinocollideilongobardi.it/default.aspx?menuItem=100).

Get there first before hoards of tourists spoil it!

 

James Lawrence

James Lawrence is a self confessed wine obsessive, passionate about discovering and promoting the lesser known wines and wine regions of the world. He is a frequent contributor to decanter.com and runs an interactive, community led wine forum, thewineremedy.com In 2004, he went to study in Bilbao, Northern Spain. Luckily for him, the famous wine region of Rioja was just over an hour away by car. He began to spend a great deal of time there, visiting the wineries in Rioja and speaking to local wine makers. Their passion for the subject and their pride in the wines was infectious. He began to realise what an amazing subject wine is and how wide and complex the world of wine could be. Subsequently James moved into wine retail while finishing his degree, and was hooked. James also enjoys food and travel writing - he lives for Italian and Thai cuisine!

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