Appears in

Oxford Companion to Wine

Oxford Companion to Wine

By Jancis Robinson

Published 2006

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Piave, mainly red wine doc in the hinterland of Venice in north-east Italy. Like the neighbouring lison-pramaggiore, the Piave DOC embraces vineyards in the plain of the Piave River, and is demarcated by the pre-alpine Conegliano and Montello hills to the north and the flatlands of the river’s Adriatic delta to the south. The DOC is so large that it overlaps the DOCG Conegliano-Valdobbiadene, Colli Asolano, and the DOC Montello—so large that it accords little attention to terroir aspects. This is overwhelmingly merlot territory (some 4,323 ha/10.678 acres) with cabernet (principally Franc) accounting for an additional 1,852 ha. verduzzo and tai bianco account for the bulk of the white wine production. The wines, at their best, are fruity, fresh, and unpretentiously appealing; with permitted yields of up to 90 hl/ha for Merlot and over 80 hl/ha for Cabernet and Tai Bianco from the fertile soil, they seem destined to remain that way. The zone doubles as the DOCG Piave Malanotte, a potentially much more interesting red based on the local raboso grape of which between 15 and 30% of the grapes must be dried, arguably to counteract the grape’s tannic, high-acid character. But in the right hands this variety can produce high quality, long lived, complex red wines.