Soave is one of Italian most appreciated white wines. Soave is Italian for “Suave“, and although many believe that the name is related to the often sleek and smooth characteristics of the wine, it actually comes from the name of the village of Soave, nestled on the hills few kilometers East of Verona, along the motorway heading to Venice.
There are records proving that the Garganega grapevine was grown in the area of Soave since ancient time, in fact Soave was an important Roman village along the via Postumia, one of the main Roman roads in northern Italy. Wine was transported along this way since that time, and its fame, especially for the sweet version, was already great in the past.
The most important vine for Soave wine is Garganega, one of the oldest grape varieties in Italy. It is a very versatile grape and in recent years it has been introduced in other growing areas especially in northern Italy, even if it is only in Soave that Garganega expresses its true excellence due to the peculiar soil composition.
Beside Garganega, Trebbiano di Soave is another major traditional grape variety used in the grape blend of Soave wines.
All Soave dry wines have straw yellow color, sometimes with green highlights. Crisp nose of gentle flowers. The palate is delicate and light, with a gentle acidity and a bitter finish of almonds. Basic Soaves should be drunk within a couple of years from the vintage, while Soave Superiores, especially those aged in oak, can be stored in cellar up to 4-6 years and sometimes more.
Soave D.O.C: certainly is one of the most appreciated Italian white wines. It is characterized by vibrant tartness which makes it very popular as an aperitif in all bars around Verona. (Get it here)
Soave Classico D.O.C: This is undoubtedly a more complex wine made from hillside grapes. It pairs wonderfully with seafood, shellfish, antipasti (Italian appetizers), soups and, in general, with light and tasty dishes.
In the Italian labelling system, the word “Classico” means that a wine has been made with grapes grown in the historical production area of that specific wine. For Soave, the Classico area is within the municipality of Soave and Monteforte d’Alpone towns. The characteristic volcanic soil of these areas is an important element in the creation of a typical well balanced mineral palate.
Soave Superiore D.O.C.G: This is Soave top wine, made with grapes carefully selected for their ripeness level, from the best vineyards with limited yields on the hills north of Soave wine producing area. A special attention is given to the evolution of the wine in the cellars. Due to its great popularity the quality of Soave wine had dropped in the past 30 years. Especially basic Soave were often too light and bland. With Soave Superiore there is now a true Soave renaissance and you finally can find absolutely top-notch white wines which pairs fantastically with cheeses, eggs and white meats and even, for those Soave aged in wood, with more complex dishes like baccala' (italian style cod), and pasta with duck based sauces. (Get it here)
Recioto di Soave DOCG: in 1998 this was the first wine in Veneto to achieve the Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita.
Recioto di Soave is a wine with ancient traditions. The existence in the region of Verona, of a sweet white wine similar to today’s Recioto di Soave is testified to as far back as the 5th century.
Like Recioto della Valpolicella, Recioto di Soave is made with semi-dried grapes. Selected bunches of Garganega grapes are left to dry hanged to special racks in lofts above the cellars. They would be left to rest there for at least three months and then pressed and fermented.
Recioto di Soave has a beautiful honey like color. The palate is smooth and rich and its sweetness is never overpowering thanks to the good balance given by Garganega's typical acidity.
Recioto di Soave is excellent with dry cakes and cookies like cantucci and sbrisolona, dry pastry and baked desserts. To try it with aged and moulded cheeses such as grana padano or gorgonzola. It is also a perfect meditation wine, to be enjoyed at the end of a meal.
Due to the terraced hills and typical training system called "Pergola Veronese", Garganega grapes here are picked by hand.
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The Soave production zone lies in the eastern part of the Province of Verona in the region of the Veneto. The production zone is of volcanic origin and the hills where the vineyards are planted have rocky strata that are a result of lava flows that turned into sediment over time. The soil is dark, stony and rich in minerals. There is a difference between the soil of the hills and the soil of the flat lands. The soil does make a difference. Soave is one of Italy’s great terroir- based wines.
Built in the 10th century to protect the area against the Hungarians, the castle of Soave was further restored by the Scaligeri, as testified by two inscriptions which can be seen in the walls of the Prefecture: in 1365 Cansignorio had the town walls erected and the Town hall was built in the same year.
The castle underwent various vicissitudes until, having lost its strategic importance, it was sold on the private market in 1596. In 1830 it was inherited by Giulio Camuzzoni who restored the manor and in particular the surroundings walls (with is twenty-four towers), the battlements and living-quarters.
The castle now serves as a back-drop for medieval pageants and cultural events appreciated by many visitors world-wide.
The Soave Castle