Have you ever found yourself in the situation where you know you’re about to deliver bad news. And there’s no way around it.
I’ve had that feeling a lot recently. And it starts with an email or chat message that opens a little something like this…
“What are the best Prosecco vineyards to visit near Trieste?”
It’s the kind of message that makes me want to go and hide under my stairs.
But then I remember I’m (supposed to be) an adult and I set about delivering the blow – that the main Prosecco region is actually 2-3 hours away from Trieste.
Quite the blow if you’re ready to do some tasting.
So, why the confusion?
Why people think the Prosecco region is near Trieste
It’s actually an easy mistake to make, thinking Italy’s Prosecco region is near Trieste.
Prosecco has its root (literally) in Trieste – the drink was first created there, in the 16th century.
Prosecco is named after the town of Prosecco…which happens to be located near Trieste.
And, if you type ‘Prosecco’ into Google, this happens:
Before you know it, you’re planning a Prosecco tasting planning to Trieste.
A quick word on ‘the Prosecco region’
Before the zealots…trolls?…jump in, let’s get technical for a minute. Prosecco has two major classifications – DOC and DOCG, the latter being ‘superior’ by all objective standards. DOC is produced throughout the Veneto and Friuli Venezia Giulia regions of Italy. Trieste is, of course, at the bottom slip of the Friuli Venezia Giulia region. So, technically, there is Prosecco being grown and produced there.
However, the DOCG Prosecco – the best Prosecco – is produced in an area one hour north of Venice. That’s where you’ll find the Prosecco region as you probably imagine it, with abundant vineyards and wineries available for Prosecco tasting. The region shown above.
That’s the region this website is about.
Two to three hours away from Trieste (2 hours by car, 2 hours 40 by train).
Why can’t I taste Prosecco near Trieste?
If I was the town of Prosecco, I’d have a Prosecco tasting opportunity on every corner. But that doesn’t seem to be the case. I say this not having visited the place (it’s on my list of places to go because I’m intrigued). However, given the number of people who do visit Trieste and then message me to holler ‘where is all the Prosecco’, I think my description is fairly accurate.
Where is the Prosecco region if it’s not near Trieste
As I’ve mentioned above, the DOCG Prosecco region is located 1 hour from Venice. Specifically, you’ll find it located between Conegliano and Valdobbiadene. Trust me when I tell you, this is the place you want to go Prosecco tasting. And if you don’t trust me (I am just some stranger on the web, after all), then at least trust UNESCO who have recently declared the Prosecco hills between Conegliano and Valdobbiadene to be a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
What should I do if I’m in Trieste and want to go Prosecco tasting?
Good question! And the answer depends on how determined you are. Your best options are:
Get to the DOCG Prosecco Region
If you’ve got time and determination, I’d suggest getting over to the DOCG Prosecco region. You can plan your driving route here or your train route here. It’s around 2 hours by car and 2 hours 40 by train. Though if you time it right, there is the occasional direct train that takes 2hrs 07 minutes.
Tip: Don’t repeat the ‘just turn up and hope for the best’ mistake. Most of the vineyards need to be pre-booked.
If you’re coming by train, you can book a local driver here and the planning is done for you more tour details here). If you plan to arrive in Conegliano by 2pm, you’ll still have time for a 4 hour visit.
Decided to spend a night in the Prosecco region? You can find a list of my favourite places to stay here.
Find a local wine tasting
When I do get to Trieste, I’ll try and scout out a decent wine tasting option for you near Trieste if I can find one. Until then, Google is your friend.
Poor Trieste, I’m sure it’s a beautiful place even without an abundance of Prosecco tasting. In fact, I’m inspired to visit and write a guide on what to do there. Until then, you can find a guide here. And there are plenty of other tours on offer in Trieste (including some food and wine tours) here.
Create a DIY Prosecco tasting
Find a local shop selling Prosecco, buy a few bottles and create your own tasting. All vineyards will have tasting notes on their website that you can look at to help you get a sense of what you’re sipping. No, it’s not the same as visiting the Prosecco region but it’s a damn site better than wandering around Trieste wondering ‘where are all the Prosecco vineyards’. Still feeling glum? Buy some local cheese and meats to pair with the wine if you want to perk yourself up a bit.
Make a plan to return to the UNESCO World Heritage Prosecco region
If you ever needed an excuse for a return trip to Italy, this is it. I fully grant you permission to come back to Italy and visit the Prosecco properly. And hopefully you’ll find everything you need on this website to plan your trip.
Until you get to Prosecco, here’s my guide for how to choose good Prosecco when you’re shopping for Italian sparkling wine at home.