Today, Soave is one of the most charismatic and dynamic winemaking regions of Italy. Over the last ten years, the producers of the appellation have radically changed Soave’s stylistic profile, viticulture and winemaking, in a great surge for quality. The nuance of the terroir, the historical cru vineyards, and the fascinating Garganega grape, make Soave a leader among mineral Italian white wines.
Soave Production Zones
The area of the Soave Classico zone stretches from the western edge of the town of Soave to Monteforte d’Alpone in the east. It climbs toward the northern hills of Lessinia and the soils of the region include both volcanic and limestone rock. The area is characterized by many fascinating and intriguing symbols of medieval kings, peasant devotion and ancient rivalries which are still present today. Noble palaces, shrines, and gothic silhouettes cover the towns and hills, and are a representation of the thousands of farmers and winemakers that were working daily in Soave.
The density of this cultural and historic heritage is key to understanding the rich expression of the Soave cru’s. Soave Classico remains a fascinating puzzle: a patchwork of sub-zones and vineyards that are often not much more than a plot of one hectare. Each farmer or winemaker has passed down knowledge through each family generation of the composition and history of their own unique plot of land. Soave is a sort of “Langhe in white” – with garganega instead of nebbiolo – where one can find the same culture of the vineyard, the same vocation to cru, and the same diversity and individuality of farmers.
Veneto’s history and identity has been shaped by the Catholic Church and by the Venetian empire. The Venetian people have always been hardworking and innovative. There have been times of great poverty: the post-war era spawned the “arte di arrangiarsi”, a sort of survival mode. This determination to overcome adversity brought wealth to the region, but also, at times, compromised the Venetian artisanal spirit. In recent decades, after a runaway success and abrupt decline, Soave has returned once again to that artisan spirit. Farmers working their small plots stopped selling their grapes and started bottling the wines that best reflected their terroir. Even the larger wineries have mapped their Cru land, and are bottling from select vineyards. Today, we are tasting exemplary Soave wines with markedly different profiles even though they are cultivated and produced with similar techniques
ABOUT THE CRUS
The eclectic garganega, the rich mosaic of volcanic and limestone soils, and a touch of trebbiano di soave, are all expressed in the Soave Cru wines that are contained herein: From the sinuous Costeggiola, the poetic Carniga and Sengialta, the black soil of Carbonare, the heroic terracing of Slavinus, the mighty Foscarino, the gentle slopes of Pressoni and the continental coolness of Salvarenza.
Just as every winemaker has their own unique personality, the terroir produces wines with classic structure and “sapidità” – a stimulating richness of flavour. The late ripening of the garganega allows for diversity of style and weight, from the very fresh and floral, to the rich sweet nectar of a Recioto di Soave.
Over the last ten years, the Consortium has worked tirelessly with scientists, universities, agronomists, and enologists, and in cooperation with wineries, to begin to “measure” the differences and similarities in Soave’s Cru wines. They have opened their horizons beyond the regions hills to create a network with other volcanic wine regions world-wide.