The Garganega is a white berry vine widespread in Veneto, whose origin would be Greek, like many Italian vines, imported into the peninsula almost three millennia ago, at the time of the colonization of the 7th century BC. Its cultivation is practiced in particular in the area of Soave and Gambellara, where the breeding concerns a subtype, the Garganega di Gambellara.
The Garganega is made up of medium and long bunches of cylindrical, winged and spilled bunches. The berries are medium in size, spherical, with little bloom on the skins consistent with colours that tend to golden. The Garganega vine has an excellent vigour, with high productions to keep under control because often excessive for the quality of the wines.
Due to its very ancient cultivation, the Garganega has originated many subvarieties which, however, cannot replicate the quality of the mother vine. The most interesting productions are found in the provinces of Padua, Vicenza and Verona, but the Garganega finds hectares planted with vines also in other small areas of the peninsula.
Garganega, used in the past for its productivity that supplied dull wines, with the advent of denominations of origin, has found excellent vinification, both in purity and blending, especially in Veneto, with fine wines that can provide good ranges of smells to sweet white fruits such as apricots and pears, with exotic touches of pineapple, with tendencies to short aging that can guarantee a beautiful full-bodiedness. In the best vinifications, the olfactory range is enriched with aromas of acacia and elderberry, with beautiful citrus notes.
The area of the Soave is certainly the most interesting, with the Soave DOC in the province of Verona chiselled on the hills that also see an area of particular value, the Classico, where Garganega is cut with a maximum of 30 percent Trebbiano di Soave or Chardonnay or used in purity. Wines are generally drunk young, even if there is no lack of aging for up to eight years and experimentation in wood with excellent results. In the historical evolution of the vine from quantity to quality production, the first wine worthy of the latter was Calvarino, produced since 1971 in combination with Trebbiano with a beautiful floral fragrance. Here in Soave you can have particularly favourable vintages to give long-lived wine more than ten years, but the Soave is also spumantized to obtain fresh and lively wines. Under the name of Reciotto di Soave DOCG, the first of its kind for the region approved in 1998, Garganega is harvested early to be dried on trellises until the winter and then vinified sweet, for a quality wine now famous. Excellent both the classic olfactory range of ripe white fruits to apricot and peaches, with herbaceous tones of green tea, and the taste, which replicates on the palate with a beautiful acid balance of sweet and dense flavours expressed in the wine. This wine is also sometimes spumantized, for a wine that is different in taste, but finds some admirer.
The Gambellara DOC, authorised in 1970, is another important denomination for Garganega, a natural continuation of the Soave with which it borders. Here the minimum percentage of Garganega in the blend is increased to 80%, and is vinified both dry and dried.