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The Soave Region and its Vineyards
Situated in the eastern part of the Province of Verona, the Soave is one of the 20 D.O.C. areas in the Veneto. The region reaches across the towns of Soave and Monteforte d’Alpone and includes 11 other nearby municipalities. The majority of the vineyards are planted on rolling hills, including the historic and picturesque “Classico” zone.
There are approximately 16,000 acres planted in Soave, much of it contiguous, making Soave a virtual vineyard “garden”. The vineyards extend from the southern slopes of the Lessini Mountains to the alluvial plain below. The western portion of the region has mostly calcareous chalky soils deposited by a topical sea millions of years ago. Wines from these vineyards are typically floral and delicate. By contrast, the eastern soils are black volcanic basalt, which lead to fuller, slightly richer wines.
The region’s climate is decidedly temperate with summers that are not too hot and winters that aren’t too cold. Soave is influenced by the Mediterranean’s warm temperatures, but doesn’t see too much humidity due to its elevated location.
The most important and main production of Soave, Soave DOC includes the sub-zones of Soave Classico and Soave Colli Scaligeri. Soave DOC wines are easy drinking, good-value wines meant to be enjoyed within a year or two after the vintage.
Soave Classico D.O.C.
Ambitious wines crafted from the historic hillsides between Soave and Monteforte d’Alpone. Soave Colli Scaligeri is a designation for hillside wines made from outside the Classico zone.
Cantina di Soave
With more than 6,000 hectares of vineyards, the winery not only boasts an impressive history, but exhibits a dynamism that is expressed in an internationally recognized award-winning wine portfolio.
Established in 1898, Cantina di Soave is a premier cooperative winery in Italy. The founding group of vine growers and wine producers joined forces to improve production quality and standards to bring unsurpassed value to consumers. The winery was organized to implement stringent vineyard management, winemaking, marketing and sales across the board to ensure that each member-grower obtains optimal results.
With a long viticultural history dating back to the Roman era, Soave was one of the first wine producing regions in Italy to achieve D.O.C. status, which was granted to the region in 1968.
Historians, who have tried to explain the origin of the name “Soave” hold various opinions. The most widely accepted explanation is that the Soave region took its name from the Suevians, a Germanic people who came to Italy with Albion, the Lombardi king in the 6th Century. Historical documents mention Soave and the indigenous grape variety Garganega leading historians to conclude that the wines were appreciated for many centuries. However, for Americans, Soave’s fame grew in the mid-20th Century during an Italian wine boom after World War II. It was Frank Sinatra’s favorite wine and featured in the opening scene of the movie “La Dolce Vita.” Unfortunately, Soave fell out of favor with Americans after overproduction and substandard winemaking led to a decrease in quality. In recent years, Soave has undergone a period of renewal. Investment in the vineyard, such as reducing yields and removing Trebbiano di Toscana from the blend, as well as in the wineries has paved the way for Soave’s second American love affair with this very enjoyable, yet complex white.
Today, Soave wines are noted among Italy’s best white wines, with examples included on the famous Gambero Rosso’s Tre Bicchiere® list of top Italian wines each year.