WINE ZONE OF THE EUGANEI HILLS, PADOVA PROVINCE
The Euganean Hills are of volcanic origin, their typical cone shapes rising like oases from the Po valley in the province of Padua. A combination of a mild climate, protected by the nearby Adriatic Sea, and the nature of the soil made of broken-up volcanic stones with a good, well-drained skeleton rich in minerals and micro elements, has created an ideal place for wine-growing. Vines have been grown in the area from immemorial time and have had a strong influence on the landscape, which has been slowly, but steadily transformed by the hand of man since the earliest settlements and by the uninterrupted sequence of communities, and flourishing, hard-working civilisations.
D.O.C. wines produced in the area are Colli Euganei Bianco, Colli Euganei Pinot bianco, Colli Euganei Chardonnay and Colli Euganei Moscato (all also in a spumante version), Colli Euganei Tai, Colli Euganei Rosso (also in novello and riserva versions), Colli Euganei Cabernet, Colli Euganei Cabernet franc, Colli Euganei Cabernet Sauvignon and Colli Euganei Merlot (the last wines also as Riserva).
Specialities of this D.O.C. include Colli Euganei Pinello, a straw yellow wine with hints of green, delicate in fragrance and fresh in taste, also in a sparkling version, Colli Euganei Serprino, also sparkling, a straw yellow, pale and bright wine, and Colli Euganei Fior d'Arancio. The latter is a straw yellow wine with hints of gold and a lingering, intense fragrance typical of its grape, the Moscato giallo, also available as spumante and passito.
The unique natural and artistic beauty of the Euganean Hills offers plenty of charm. The heart of paleo-venetian culture, the Hills are today an important tourist destination. A natural haven protected by the Regional Park, the Colli offer a variegated production of wines, but also prestigious niche products, such as those coming from the "Corte Padovana".
From one hill to another along the Strada del Vino (Wine Road) itinerary, the landscape is a succession of perfect geometries of vineyards, villages and medieval castles, churches, monasteries and retreats, of villas built during the Renaissance and noble residences, favourite places of renowned people such as Goethe, Foscolo, Byron, Shelley and Petrarca. The poet Petrarca's house in the town of Arquà is a favourite tourist attraction, along with other splendid medieval buildings.
There are bike paths and walking trails for every level, and many are protected for the main traffic flow making it an area to enjoy with younger, or inexperienced riders. With plenty of interesting stops throughout the national park area this is a perfect bicycle destination. This is the area many individuals living in Padova and the surrounding work towns escape to, to enjoy some riding. On the weekend there are groups riding everywhere. The area is large enough that you can always find a few quite roads to yourself or link up with a local group to ride with.