Garganega is a white grape variety grown in the Veneto region of Italy. Despite not being as famous as Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, or Pinot Grigio on a global scale, Garganega is still Italy’s 6th most widely planted white grape. That’s because it’s also a crucial ingredient of the Gambellara blend and Venetian wine Soave.
Although Garganega is mostly known for dry white wines with subtle aromas of almond, apricot, and baked apples, the grape has shown an ability to also produce sweet wines made from dried, late-harvested grapes. They are typically richly textured, with sweet notes of spices, honey, tropical fruit, and lemon peels.
Despite the fame of Soave wine, Garganega, which is a fundamental part of the blend, is virtually unheard of. One of the main reasons for this is because the grape variety’s name isn’t actually mentioned on Soave wine labels. In Garganega’s homeland, on the other hand, the single varietal wine is held in high regard.
Its generous yields and the loose-knit bunch structure make winemakers appreciate the variety as well. The second quality goes from a little perk to a significant advantage when it comes to drying the grapes for deliciously sweet recioto wines.
While the high yields of the grape are important to the wine producers, so are its elegant perfume, moderate acidity, and high concentration of aroma compounds. This way, it’s easy to establish a good balance between quality and quantity of the wine produced.
Unfortunately for consumers, many producers have chosen the “quantity.” As a result, Soave wines have a less impressive reputation than they would’ve otherwise. Luckily, Garganega’s name is not on the label of those wines, which leaves it untarnished.
Garganega Wine Regions
Garganega is the primary grape in the Soave region, where it can compose anywhere from 70 to 100% of wine blends with Trebbiano and Chardonnay usually making the rest. The regions where yields are kept in check, like the Classico zone of Soave, produce delicate Garganega with hints of lemon, spice, and almond.
Besides Soave, the grape is also grown in the region of Gambellara, Colli Berici, and Biano di Custoza. When grown in Sicily, Garganega grapes usually ripen late and produce a wine with tangy acidity.
The variety’s contribution to Italy and its viniculture has been incredible in many regards. Not only Garganega’s one of the most planted varieties in the country, but it’s also one of the oldest. It’s been around since as early as the 6th century.
If you’d like to try this excellent white wine, buy Garganega in our store in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.