What Is Soave Wine?
Soave is a well-regarded Italian white wine made from Garganega grapes. It is produced around the village of Soave, just east of the province of Verona, in northern Italy. The volcanic hills here have a rocky strata that have built up as result of lava flows over time. The soils in these hills are dark, stony and full of rich minerals – this gives the wine a well-balanced mineral palate.
The Garganega grape has been grown in the Soave area since Roman times, and is one of the oldest grape varieties in Italy. In fact, Soave was an important Roman village, and sat along one of the main Roman roads in Italy. Soave wine gained popularity as it was transported along this road to other parts of the Roman Empire. Even today, you can drive along the main highway to Verona and see the castle of Soave, which still marks the entrance to the town.
Soave is one of the great white wines of Italy. It is known for its refreshing flavours of orange zest, peach, and honeydew melon, with hints of fresh herbs and a distinctive saltiness. It has a crisp nose of flowers. Soave is sometimes compared to Pinot Gris or Sauvignon Blanc, but it’s richer, with an extra punch.
As one of the most appreciated Italian whites, Soave is produced in a number of different styles. Soave DOC is often enjoyed as an aperitif, due to its characteristic tartness. Soave Classico DOC is a more complex version made from vineyards situated in the volcanic hillside. The Classico refers to wine produced in the historical production area of Soave and Monteforte d’Alpone villages and the surrounding hills, which is regarded as having the best vineyards.
Soave Superiore DOCG is the top designation, made with grapes carefully selected for their ripeness. These wines come from the best Soave hillside vineyards with limited yields. Soave Superiore wines have seen a recent rise in popularity, due to its high quality. Superiore wines have to be aged for at least 8 months. Traditionally, Soave is aged in wooden barrels, which produces a more nutty and rich version. Some producers use stainless steel tanks to age the wine, which produces a leaner version that highlights the natural floral and fruity aromas.
There is also a sweet style known as Recioto di Soave DOCG, which was the first wine to gain the DOCG designation in the Veneto area. Recioto di Soave is a traditional sweet style with ancient roots, and is believed to go as far back as the 5th century. It is made by drying the grapes for at least 3 months, and then pressing and fermenting the wine slowly. The result is a smooth and rich wine with a beautiful honey colour. Due to the natural acidity of the Garganega grape, the sweetness is never overwhelming.
Why We Love Soave Wine
Soave is a widely produced and exported Italian wine – the mass produced versions tend to be bland and one-dimensional. But the Soave made by artisan producers are the best examples of what it could be.
At its best, Soave is a complex and harmonious wine, delicate and elegant, with a lovely gentle acidity and slight bitter finish that reminds one of almonds. It has a charming bouquet of pear, honeydew and peach, with perfumes of lilacs and lilies. Its vibrancy and tartness has made it very popular in the bars of Verona as an aperitif.
Basic soaves are generally drunk within a coupe of years, whereas Superiores can be cellared for up to six years or more. The best examples have a refined texture that is elegant and finessed.
Soave pairs incredibly well with seafood like squid, clams, scallops, prawns or even Moreton Bay bugs. It’s fantastic with rich Italian dishes like linguini, risotto or gnocchi. Soave is also delicious with cheeses, antipasti or even soups. Soave wines aged in wood are great with heavier meats like duck.
The sweet style of Recioto di Soave is excellent with desserts, anything from dry cakes and cookies to pastries and aged cheese like gorgonzola. It is also perfect on its own as a dessert wine.
For The Soave Wine Lover
We have searched far and wide to bring you the best artisan producers, so that you can sample it yourself and see why Soave is enjoying a renaissance.
Soave is super delicious and surprisingly affordable given its high quality. It’s perfect for sharing with friends and loved ones, weekday or weekend.
As lovers of fine Italian wines, we support family producers who take pride in traditional viticulture and wine making practices. These small-scale producers uphold tradition and work relentlessly to bring out the best in their grapes.
Our suppliers are Australia’s best, hands on importers who specialise in high quality wines of place. We’re excited to have you join us on a journey of discovery. So try some Soave today – we know you’ll love it.