Orto di Venezia

The golden wine born on the vegetable garden of the Serenissima

by Valentina Scarpa Bandelloni
Orto di Venezia — Veneto Secrets

Grown on the island of Sant’Erasmo, in the land that already in 1700 offered "the nobleman's wine" appreciated by the Doges and Casanova, Orto di Venezia is a mineral white wine that tells a fascinating story full of uniqueness.

Upon arrival at the winery, it could be Michel Thoulouze himself to welcome you in his property. The famous French businessman, founder of dozens of television channels and pioneer of Pay-TV, in the 90s, during a tour of the Venice Lagoon, fell in love with this island and decided to buy here a large house and eleven hectares of land.

Intrigued by the islanders who defined his land as the best in the Lagoon, and thanks to the help of friends Lydia and Claude Bourguignon, agronomist of Romanée Conti in Burgundy (famous for being among the most precious wines in the world) and Alain Graillot, wine producer guru of Crozes-Ermitage, he decided to revive the ancient vines of the Serenissima that used to be grown in Sant’ Erasmo.

Orto di Venezia — Veneto Secrets
Orto di Venezia — Veneto Secrets

Orto does not need an oenologist, because a great wine is created in a completely natural way in the vineyards, not in the cellar.

(Michel Thoulouze, founder)

It took years to prepare the vineyard in a completely natural way: 4.5 hectares of land were cultivated with barley, radish, oats and Chinese root, without plowing it, in order to preserve the characteristics of the delicate surface layer of soil. Once the traditional drainage system was renewed to collect rainwater in the canals that run between the rows, the vines were planted with the “ungrafted” method, that is, without grafting into the roots of American vines, the oldest and most laborious, in order to ensure greater resistance.

And so in 2006, almost ten years later, without the aid of any machine or chemicals, Michael bottled his first Orto, a mineral white wine with a pure and persistent flavor. At Orto di Venezia there are no oenologists, but only nature and common sense: after harvesting by hand, the grape juice alone rests 10 months in steel barrels and 2 years in the bottle.

Orto di Venezia — Veneto Secrets

The grapes used are mainly Istrian Malvasia, a variety already popular in Venice since 1300, with a percentage of Fiano and Vermentino, a finely selected cuvée according to the annual yield of the vines.

The spearhead of the production are the approximately 300 Magnum bottles produced each year which and left to age sunk in a sandolo, a traditional Venetian boat, in a secret point of the lagoon protected from sudden changes in light, temperature and vibrations.

Why you will love it
A unique wine that enhances the flavors of its territory, a clayey soil rich in marine and dolomitic sediments caressed by the iodized breeze of the Lagoon.

Where to taste it
Surely in the Orto di Venezia cellar, overlooking the Venice Lagoon, or in some of the best restaurants in the world.

The perfect pairing
The traditional dishes of the Venice lagoon where fish, seafood, artichokes, asparagus and fresh vegetables blend into Orto’s aromas and perfumes.

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