Among all the white wine appellations in Italy, Soave is one of the most important. I had no idea until reading about the area. This prompted a trip to Verona and the Veneto last year where Mark and I spent two days learning about and tasting wine from the region, including the wines of Cantina del Castello.
We were in Verona in 2016 for a different purpose and dug into Valoplicella wines. You can read about that here …includes a great place to eat in Verona!
Soave has a story similar to a handful of Italian regions- successful early on then expansion to meet newfound demand. But production of larger quantities of plain wine resulted in a fall from popularity. This happened in Soave and unfortunately the name retained a negative connotation for years. What you might not know is several producers including a great champion of Soave, Nino Pieropan pursued quality and single vineyard ‘cru’ sites to prove the Garganega grape was capable of great things. The region is now producing dynamic, expressive wines.
We started one of our days at the Scaligeri Castle.
Strolling further through the town, we arrived at Cantina del Castello.
It’s a family enterprise at Cantina del Castello. Proprietor Signora Stocchetti handed out glasses of their Classico Soave and took us into the cellar.
We tasted three “cru” Soave wines: Classico, Carniga and Pressoni. Each showcased a different side of Garganega, the main grape in this white wine appellation. Wines must be a minimum of 70% Garganega with the remaining amount Trebbiano di Soave (aka Turbiana) and/or Chardonnay.
Carniga- They call this version their “Extreme Soave”. The wine is aged in stainless tanks for several months. With aromas of white flowers and tropical fruits, it has both medium acidity and body, and saline hints on the finish.
Pressoni is the Cantinas Elegant Soave. 80% Garganega 20% Trebbiano di Soave, it was fermented in stainless tanks where it remained for 3-months of aging on the lees. The wine had a surprising mineral character, again with floral notes, yellow peach, less ripe mango and hints of marjoram.
They also make Recioto (dessert wine), Valpolicella Superiore Ripasso, Amarone della Valpolicella, and Grappa.
Off To The Vineyard
At Cantina del Castello a visit isn’t a visit without getting to know their vineyards. According to Arturo Stocchetti
“The quality of a wine is a true reflection of the care, love and dedication to the vineyards. To get excellent wine you need great quality grapes!”
So off we went to discover the volcanic soils on which 13 hectares (32 acres) of Garganega and Turbiana vines are planted.
Here is a nice article about the Pergola versus Guyot for those who want to know more.
I was happy when Li from The Wining Hour chose Soave for our Italian Food, Wine, Travel (#ItalianFWT) June theme. Since I hadn’t written about our visit, this was a perfect excuse to share it with you! If you haven’t gone to Verona or the Veneto, we highly recommend the area.
In the meantime, I hope these articles about Soave from the #ItalianFWT group will entice you.
- Our host Li at The Wining Hour shares “Soavemente, Bacciame! Getting Intimate with Soave”
- Jennifer at Vino Travels – “Swept Away to Soave with Gini”
- Jeff at FoodWineClick tells us “The Name Says It All: Soave Classico”
- Camilla at Culinary Adventures with Cam cooks up “Salmone al Forno + Pieropan Soave Classico
- Susannah at Avvinare takes us to the future with “Soave Looks Ahead to New Frontiers”
- Nicole at Sommstable gives us a tasty pairing of “Inama Soave Classico with Brown Butter and Herb Crayfish Rolls
- Lynn at Savor the Harvest takes you “Strolling to Soave and Cantina del Castello”