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The Wine Museum Zeni at Bardolino

Built in 1991, the Wine Museum of the Zeni winery is in Costabella, on a hill overlooking the village of Bardolino, Lake Garda.

The longstanding winemaking tradition of the Zeni family led landowner Gaetano Zeni to embark on a journey through the world of wine and its history, transforming the main house into a museum.

The resulting exhibition showcases the history of winemaking in all its phases: the origins of winegrowing, processing and winemaking around Lake Garda, the tools of the cooper and bottling are all displayed. 

The winegrowing

This section introduces some of the vine training systems, such as the most commonly used Guyot system. Also, there are old tools to see for pest control and several interpretations of the plough, probably the most critical device of agriculture. A blackboard gives an overview of the grape varieties. Among other things, it illustrates that the European vine Vitis vinifera is the most important grape variety in the world.

The grape processing

In this exhibition area, you get an insight into tools and processes during the processing of the grapes. The room contains an antique scale for weighing grape-filled baskets, traditional carts for transport, a drying rack, and various mills for mashing grapes such as the old crushing mill where they crushed the grapes with their feet.

The winemaking

This step includes a series of winery work. The tools needed for this purpose are exhibited in the third museum room and include some wine pumps used to transfer the wine from one barrel to the next for filtering and clarifying. Furthermore, there are cork machines from the Middle Ages through to modern times.

The tools of the cooper

In this space, it highlights the profession of the keg maker. This almost forgotten craft deals with the production of wooden barrels. In the exhibition, the individual steps of today's rare craftsmanship are explained, as well as the tools required.

The bottling

The final section, which is separate from the museum trail, shows the final step in winemaking. In this last step, which symbolises the modernisation process, the wine gets bottled for sale.

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