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  • Writer's pictureStefania Gioia

Zeni 1870. Where the Scent Counts

In the fertile Bardolino, between Garda Lake and Valpolicella, Zeni’s fifth generation created the Olfactory Gallery, a challenging path to discover the scent sensory root. An extraordinary way to understand the wine and its link to the land.

How many times do you happen to catch a scent and think to yourself “Oh! I know this… It reminds me of childhood, it recalls that one summer, long time ago… Was it perhaps a fruit? Or a meal prepared by my mother? Was it just the smell of soil after the rain...?”.

As many other times, especially if you are reading a blog such Have a Glass in Venice, you found yourself smelling a glass of wine and struggling to recognize the many aromas it spreads.

Of all the senses, the smell, directly connected to the brain, is the most powerful and mysterious. In order to try and unravel the mystery - at least as far as wine is concerned - a renowned winery in Italy projected “go”, an olfactive gallery that, after challenging the guests about a singular wine’s complex of scents, finally helps to detect each one of them.

Zeni 1870, whose headquarter is based in the fertile Bardolino, just between Garda Lake and Valpolicella, is already recognized in the wine world for its exceptional hospitality program. A large, multilingual staff of young professionals is involved in managing the historical wine museum, while also taking care of the wine shop and the cellar, generously open to the public. Children and pet friendly spaces allow the families to enjoy visits and wine tastings, that can be arranged in the surrounding vineyards. Every detail is set up in order to make the visitor feel welcome and comfortable.

Such amusing and engaging atmosphere was created by the family’s last generation, that concentrates both on the quality of the product and on the development of new ways to communicate. Elena Zeni, who’s been conducting wine tastings for years, soon realized that a lot about taste is usually said, while just a few words are spent for smell. She therefore proposed to recruit a team focusing only on this interesting, yet unexplored theme.

That is how the fragrances creator Paola Bottai analyzed the olfactory universe of Zeni’s wines in order to realize fourteen essences that mark the sensory path; that is how the composer Nina Damon created an appropriate soundtrack that follows the guest in this extraordinary journey. In a dimly lit gallery projected by fine architects and scenographers, the visitor is invited to smell a mouillette vaporized with the wine essence. Right afterwards, he is asked to recognize, one by one, the fragrances composing the bouquet. Ultimately, the guest will be able to taste the wines with a new consciousness, possibly able to distinguish each aroma.

An extraordinary path that is accessible to disabled persons and that came to life also thanks to the collaboration with people suffering from blindness.

Through the Olfactory Gallery you will learn that “the scent is a sensory root”, able to connect the wine to its territory, while unveiling the history of the land and the efforts made by the human hand in years of hard work, tradition, attempt to preserve the indigenous species. We recommend it as a remarkable way to enhance the wine experience and we are happy to include it in our wine region tours to Valpolicella and Garda Lake.

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