Exploring Garganega – Soave


Garganega, a grape variety that hails from the Veneto region is the star of today’s post. Garganega is the principal grape used to make Soave, an Italian white wine that we are all familiar with in the United States. According to DNA studies, it is related to Grecanico which is a grape variety widely used in Sicily. Garganega is able to produce a host of wines whether they are dry or sweet, such as the Recioto di Soave version.

The grape has moderate acidity and lovely fruit and floral aromas. It often has a slight almond taste on the finish as well. Hard to pronounce, Garganega is not listed generally on the Soave label but at least 70% of all Soave must be Garganega.

Garganega is a vigorous grape variety and in the past was used to make mass market wines. That trend has completely changed and the grape is now used to make elegant, age worthy wines.

I’m very partial to the ones that can age such as those made by Antonio Fattori of Fattori Wines.

I’ve had the opportunity to try many wines from Soave during my lifetime and in 2011 went to the third edition of Vulcania Soave. The event lasted for two days with discussions about the impact that volcanic soil has on the grapes that grow in it and the wines that are produced. The day also had a tour of the hills around Soave and discussions about the volcanic grape producing areas in Italy: Etna, Monti Lessini, Vesuvio and them moving on to other volcanic areas in the world. That festival seems to have ended in 2013 and been replaced by others mentioned in a very complete post on Soave by Li Valentine of the Wining Hour. Read it here. This weekend, the #ItalianFWT blogging group will be traveling to Soave with Li as our host.

If you Want to learn more about this wine and beautiful region in the Northeast of Italy, join us on Saturday, June 2 at 11am/EST. My post will be up on Saturday morning before the chat. Really looking forward to visiting this region again.

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