A Dairy in Veneto: Cheese (& Wine) Tasting at Latteria Perenzin (#ItalianFWT)

While visiting the area around Conegliano-Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore DOCG in the Veneto region, I had a chance to stop at Latteria Perenzin for some delicious cheeses and wine pairings.

Bring on the cheese! 

Today we’re going cheese tasting and it will take center stage . . .  but a few sips of wine along the way certainly won’t hurt 

Back in the fall of 2019, I had a chance to visit the Conegliano-Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore DOCG region. I occasionally work with the region in a PR capacity and got the opportunity to go to get to know the region firsthand. (It turned out to be one of the last trips I took before the world shut down.) While the trip focused on wine, our little travel group got a nice change of pace when we stopped at Latteria Perenzin, in the town of San Pietro di Feletto, to get a taste of the region’s cheeses. And of course, cheese tasting presents a perfect opportunity to taste wines to pair with them!

Note: While I occasionally work with the Consorzio, I was not compensated for this post. All opinions are my own. 

Latteria Perenzin

Latteria Perenzin has been making cheese since 1898. It’s a family-owned operation that’s been going strong for five generations and is currently run by Emanuela Perenzin and her children, Erika and Matteo. The family makes goat, cow, and buffalo milk cheese using both non-organic and organic milk – they were actually among the pioneers of organic milk processing for cheese in Italy.

Image borrowed from Latteria Perenzin's website.

Making cheese is a serious business in this family, but if their website is any indicator, they also have a sense of humor about the family business: 

How many family dramas can be settled during 120 years of history? Just think about 5 generations of brothers, parents, sons and also grandparents who work together and try and imagine how many fights!

In the end, however, it doesn’t matter if brothers and sisters don’t agree with each other, nor does it matter if husband and wife part from each other, in our family what really matters is CHEESE and to keep going, in any case; grandpa Egidio used to say: “Cows don’t go on holidays, don’t you know?”

Emanuela met us to give us a tour of their facilities, which included lots of wonderful artifacts from the family’s history, as well as the production areas and rooms for aging cheese. 

These tours and tastings are available to the general public as well. You can also simply stop in for a tasting at their store and cafe. I highly recommend a visit if you’re ever in the region.

How to Taste Cheese

After our tour, it was time to taste! To start things off, Emanuela gave us a crash course on the proper way to taste cheese like a master. The way she showed us how to taste brought in as many senses as possible. 

  • It begins with sight – take a look and take it in.
  • Touch is next – you break off a piece of cheese and feel it between your finger to get an initial sense of its texture, consistency, and fat content.
  • Next, we brought in the sense of smell – you break off another small piece of cheese and smell it at the break, as this is where the smell will be strongest. 
  • Then we finally got to taste, taking into account both the flavors and textures on the palate. 

We sampled several delicious cheeses, which we’ll get to in a moment.

The Wines

As we moved through the cheese, we also got to sample them alongside a selection of three wines from the region, each representing three very different styles: sparkling, and red and white passito wines. Here are they are: 

Toni Doro Dono Brut Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore DOCG 

We were in the region after all, so of course, there had to be at least one Prosecco Superiore DOCG!  (For more background on this region, the heartland of Prosecco, see this post.) Toni Doro is a family-owned winery that has been handed down from father to son since the end of the 19th century.  This wine is made with 100% Glera grapes and is in the Brut style, so it was crisp with notes of citrus, bruised pears, flowers, and a minerally iron finish.

Find additional details on this wine here. 

Our next two wines were both Passito wines. These are dessert wines made from raisinated grapes – the drying process concentrates the flavors. For more background on this style of wine, check out this post.

Le Manzane Marzemino Colli Trevigiani Vino Passito IGT

Le Manzane is another family-owned operation. The company dates back to 1958 and it’s now in its third generation. They also happen to be located in San Pietro di Feletto, the same as the latteria. The winery makes Prosecco (in both the DOCG and DOC categories), as well as dry still wines, dessert wines, and spirits. This wine is made from 100% Marzemino, a red grape that’s predominantly grown in northern Italy. It showed notes of rich black cherry liqueur, dates, touches of pencil lead, as well as espresso bean crumble on the finish. Despite the rich flavor, this wine showed a surprising amount of freshness. 

Find additional details on this wine here.  

Cantina Produttori Fregona Piera Dolza Colli di Conegliano Torchiato di Fregona DOCG

This passito wine is the main product of Cantina Produttori Fregona, although they do also a dry still wine and grappa. Torchiato di Fregona is particular to the area, and their website lays out the history of the wine like this: 

It is said that in 1600 a winemaker was forced to harvest grapes even though they were not perfectly ripened due to an early frost. He harvested the grapes and placed them in the barn on trellises. The following spring he was surprised to find grapes that were very sweet but also hardened by the withering process. He then tried to press it several times and then put the must to rest in small barrels without much conviction. A year later, the first taste lit up the face of the farmer who understood that he had discovered an extraordinary wine.

This wine is made of a blend of  45% Glera, 25% Verdiso, and 30% Boschera. The wine showed complex notes of honey, apricots, peach,  flowers, dried tropical fruits, and candied citrus laced with spice. The wine had a velvety texture with acidity for lift. 

Find additional details on this wine here. 

The Cheese

Finally, let’s get to the cheeses we tried and how they fared with the wines. 

The cheeses above are described in the tasting notes below, following the order of the top row first, moving from left to right, then the bottom row in the same order.

Feletto a Latte Crudo

This is raw milk cheese.

To the touch: We could feel a little bit of oil on the skin of this smooth cheese

On the nose: Milky but a little pungent with a bit of acid, butter, and a touch of earthiness like buttered little mashed potatoes, and a bit of fresh grass.

On the palate: The cheese had a creamy texture with a little saltiness that lifts at the end. It had a slightly cooked aspect like butter that was just starting to brown. It had long-lasting flavor.

Wine pairings: The Tonidoro was a solid match. It was clean and refreshing, however,  the minerality becomes a bit steely – perhaps an extra-dry would be a little better, rounding it out

Capra al Fieno 

Goat cheese with a little herb on the rind.

To the touch: Firmer, crumbly texture  with a slight bit of oiliness, 

On the nose: This was less creamy than the last cheese, with more herbal and earthy components,  plus a little bit of barnyard funk.

On the palate: There was a little bit of sweetness, salt, mild acidity, mild hints of herbs, and cooked vegetal notes, but not bitter. It had less intense aromas on the palate than on the nose, but balanced combo, and has a long taste. 

Wine pairings: This cheese worked very nicely with the Marzemiano. It had the richness to match the cheese, and enough freshness to balance it out. The intensities matched well. This did not work well with the Brut – the wine turned bitter with the cheese.

Capra Ubriaco al Traminer 

A goat’s milk cheese. This is a “drunken” cheese that is buried in the marc of Traminer grapes. Drunken cheeses were first written about in 1534, but the technique became a necessity during wartime when cheesemakers needed to hide their cheese from invading soldiers. 

To the touch: The texture of this cheese was slightly tacky and less oily than the previous two.

On the nose: There was a fruity element like pineapples and dried apricots, aromas of cooked milk, caramel, and a woodsy pine note. 

On the palate: There was a little acidity, plus a salty element, particularly on the back end. It had a long and persistent finish. It had a crumbly texture in the mouth with little hints of crystalization (this is known as tyrosine crystals), but it also melts in the mouth. 

Wine pairings: The Marzemiano enhanced the saltiness and herbal notes in the cheese, and the wine’s fruitiness came to the forefront.

Bufala Ubriaco al Glera

A buffalo milk drunk cheese using the marc of Glera (aka the grape of Prosecco).  

To the touch: The cheese had a slightly tacky texture.

On the nose: There were woodsy aromas, along with notes of grappa, particularly near the rind, along with hints of light spice.

On the palate: This cheese had a creamy texture in the mouth that melted at the end. There were sweet and salty elements with a touch of pleasant bitterness that rises on the finish. Flavors were more intense near the rind,  where there were also hints of flowers on their stems. It was very complex with a bit of piquancy. 

Wine pairings: In this case, the cheese is stronger than the Marzemiano, although it became a little less intense while bringing out notes of light spice in the wine. It also worked with the Piera Dolza, although the combination brought out more herbal notes in the wine and the cheese.

San Pietro in Cera d’Api 

This 100% cow’s milk cheese is wrapped in beeswax on the outside. The beeswax adds perfume to the cheese, and it also changes the texture of the cheese by helping to retain humidity.

To the touch: The cheese had a crumbly texture and even looked a bit like a honeycomb.

On the nose: The aromas of beeswax definitely come out, as well as notes of caramel, honey, flowers, and yogurt

On the palate: The cheese was salty up front, as well as a little bit spicy. Flavors of candied pineapple came up in the middle of the palate, along with hints of flowers and candied citrus. 

It had a good amount of acidity on the finish. It had a crumbly, with some crystals, but eventually melted in the mouth.  

Wine pairings: I thought this was a perfect match with the Piera Dolza, and they just melded together in a beautiful way. They had matching intensities, and the combination brought out a little more saltiness in the cheese.

We also had two cheeses made by the students in a cheesemaking school run out of the dairy.   


A fresh buffalo milk cheese with mild flavors and a soft creamy texture, with a hint of bitterness on the end. 

Wine pairings: It worked very with the Brut. The wine and cheese brought out each other’s freshness, and the wine evened out the bitter element in the cheese. The creaminess of the cheese and the texture of the wine also matched nicely, and the cheese brought out the minerality in the wine in a nice way. 

Blue Cheese 

This cheese was made with a blend of cow and goat milk. The cheese had some meaty and savory notes of salami and olives, as well as notes of dried fruits like goji berries. It was salty and tangy.  

Wine pairings: The Piera Dolza really changed in the pairing, with the cheese heightening its flavors of honey and marmalade in a lovely way. The Marzemino also worked, but the cheese dominated in the pairing.


The Italian Food, Wine, Travel blogging group (#ItalianFWT) is exploring Italian wine and cheese this month. Be sure to check out the rest of their posts:



  1. You have made me so hungry and thirsty. You have also made me long to return to this region! I will be researching these cheeses and the Torchiato di Fregona. I had a sparkling ancestral method Boschero while I was there and need to learn more on the heritage of this grape!

  2. I recently traveled to Veneto and since then have been much more acute to learning about the region. This post really helps with that goal!!! I love the detailed notes on the cheeses and wines. It's like I'm right there on the trip with you!


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