Soave DOC and Garganega wine guide
Soave is one of the most elegant and famous Italian white wines, it has now become an icon and thank goodness the days when it was produced in a cheap way with great yields for bottling bland wines are long gone.
Indeed, the opposite is happening! To date, the winemakers of the hills around the town of Soave, just east of Verona, produce white wines based on Garganega and Trebbiano di Soave with awareness and attention, preferring wines of character, intense and decisive. Of course there are three types of Soave DOC, basic, superior classic and Soave Riserva, a wine for every occasion and which allows winemakers to diversify styles and commercial offers. We start with a more drinkable and ready Soave DOC, we move on to the intermediate, pleasantly sapid and pulpy and then we arrive at the great white wine for aging.
And it is good that there has been this evolution because Garganega is a sumptuous, unique wine, but above all its link with the Soave terroir is unique. But we don’t want to say this just because it is fashionable to talk about terroir and territory, but because in this case, the soils of this area are unique. They have an ancient origin, a mixture of volcanic layers of tuff and limestone.
And on this tuff the Garganega finds ideal conditions to best express its qualities of minerality, sumptuousness and finesse.
Yes, because we had not yet talked about it, but to make Soave wine we use the Garganega grape, which must be present for at least 79%, to which Trebbiano di Soave, Pinot Bianco and Chardonnay can be added. There are many examples produced in purity with Garganega, for a more typical wine.
The most attentive of you will have noticed two peculiarities: Soave is one of the few DOCGs that takes the name of the place of production and that the conditions are very similar to those we find in Orvieto, another tufaceous volcanic area home to a great white wine.
Organoleptic characteristics of Soave-Garganega wine
Garganega is a vine that ripens late, is harvested at the end of October, and if you have the opportunity, go for a walk through the vineyards. The color of the yellow leaves and the clusters that take on a coppery-red color, similar to Pinot Grigio to be clear, is a unique spectacle.
It is not an aromatic or distinctly acid wine, however the sugar content when fully ripe is excellent and its aromas of white flowers, peach and almond are immediately recognizable. The skin is thick and contains many pigments and tannins. The color is golden, intense straw yellow. The terroir takes care of the rest, enhancing the minerality and thickness of the wine.
The classification of the Soave DOC wine
Graziano Prà’s gold We have three types of wine. The base wine, Soave DOCG Superiore, an approachable, fruity, ready, savory and medium-bodied wine, excellent for enhancing fish dishes, pasta with pesto and seafood appetizers.
Then we have the Soave Superiore Classico, produced exclusively in the oldest area of Soave, that is, throughout the municipality of Soave and Monteforte d’Alpone, the so-called historic area.
We end up with the Soave Riserva, a wine that needs to be aged for two years in order to regulate it.
The history of Soave wine and Garganega
After the fall of the Roman Empire, there was chaos, but also an intense migratory movement that favored the rise of new cities, including Soave, which was founded by the Lombards, called Svevi or Sauves, hence the name that later came also attached to wine.
In reality, the Soave area, thanks to the particular soils and mild climate, is famous for its wines since Roman times, the fact is that the first citations of Soave wine date back to a hint of Cassiodorus.
Over the years, the wine experienced fluctuating periods and it was only in the last century that, thanks to clear grapes turned towards quality production, there was the resurrection of Soave.
Recommended pairings for Soave DOC-Garganega
Choose savory dishes, fresh cheeses, pasta with pesto, fish, shellfish and octopus, Chinese and Indian spicy fish and vegetable dishes. Recommended dishes: fish and chips, veal with tuna sauce, spaghetti with clams, pumpkin tortelli, rice noodles with shrimps and vegetables, ricotta ravioli, truffle risotto, spaghetti carbonara, pad thai, marinara risotto, paella.