wine-searcher.com / Dorona di Venezia Wine
Dorona (Dorona di Venezia in full) is a very rare white-wine grape grown exclusively around Venice, northeastern Italy. Italian grape variety names almost always have some connection with the variety’s physical characteristics, the wine style they make or the place they come from and Dorona is no exception. Oro is Italian for gold, and here indicates the golden-green color of Dorona grapes as they approach ripeness.
The variety was once thought to be identical to Garganega, but this has been disproven via DNA profiling techniques. It is in fact a crossing of Garganega with a table grape variety from Emilia-Romagna. The fact that «Garganega» and «Dorona» were long considered synonyms of a single variety makes it hard to trace the exact history; references to Dorona in old documents could theoretically be referring to either one of the varieties.
Dorona wines unquestionably rank among the world’s rarest. The only remaining vines are now growing at the Venissa estate (owned by Gianluca Bisol of Prosecco fame), on the tiny island of Mazzorbo in the Venetian Lagoon. The walled Venissa vineyard, which is coupled with a high-class restaurant and agro-tourism venture, lies just a meter or so above sea level. The story goes that Bisol rescued the variety from extinction (an increasingly common story in the modern Italian wine world), finding the last three surviving plants on the neighboring island of Sant’Erasmo. Happily, given its watery environs, Dorona vines and grapes are relatively resistant to rot.
Dorona is also known by the synonym Uva d’Oro, but is distinct from Fortana, with which it shares this synonym.
Food matches for Dorona include:
- Fried zucchini fritters (dry)
- Steamed scallops (dry)
- Almond bread pudding (sweet)