As a 21st-generation winemaker whose family has made prosecco in the hills of Valddobiadene in Italy's Veneto region for centuries, Gianluca Bisol has a deep appreciation for the area's rich culture and history. So it is with great pride that Bisol this weekend unveils a new restaurant and hospitality center that reclaim a bit of Venice's forgotten past.
The estate, called Tenuta Venissa, is located on the island of Mazzorbo and includes a restaurant (pictured above) helmed by a renowned chef, an inn and a restored walled vineyard where an ancient grape variety that was nearly extinct has been replanted and will soon be bottled.
Mazzorbo, part of the archipelago of islands off of Venice, was once an important trading center. In recent times, it has languished quietly as a home to fishermen, abandoned vineyards and the occasional day-tripping tourist visiting Burano, an island famous for its lacework and colored houses (Philippe Starck apparently owns three) that is connected to Mazzorbo by footbridge. (Murano, the island renowned for its glass, is a short boat ride away).
Bisol hopes to transform the island into a tourist-worthy destination and research center dedicated to exploring the region's indigenous grapes and cuisine. "I have always been fascinated with the food and wine history of the lagoon," says Bisol, a genial Italian with a broad smile.