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Garganega

Garganega is a white grape variety that undoubtedly dominates the hillside vineyards of the provinces of Verona and Vicenza, playing the leading role in the Soave and Gambellara designations. The first official information about the 'Garganica' grape dates back to the Treaty of 1200 by Pietro De Crescenzi, who identified two different clones, the very productive 'female' one and the less generous 'masculine' one. The latter has prevailed, spreading throughout most of the Veneto region, producing crisp, fresh white wines with floral and fruity aromas while still young and pleasantly mineral aromas after a few years of ageing. A lean structure and a well balanced combination of flavours and fragrances ensure that this white wine is easy and enjoyable to drink, despite its elegance.

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Garganega is a white grape variety that undoubtedly dominates the hillside vineyards of the provinces of Verona and Vicenza, playing the leading role in the Soave and Gambellara designations. The first official information about the 'Garganica' grape dates back to the Treaty of 1200 by Pietro De Crescenzi, who identified two different clones, the very productive 'female' one and the less generous 'masculine' one. The latter has prevailed, spreading throughout most of the Veneto region, producing crisp, fresh white wines with floral and fruity aromas while still young and pleasantly mineral aromas after a few years of ageing. A lean structure and a well balanced combination of flavours and fragrances ensure that this white wine is easy and enjoyable to drink, despite its elegance.

Following the Historical Footsteps of this Variety from Veneto

The first person to mention the Garganega variety was Pier de' Crescenzi who was a scholar from the city of Bologna. He published the Opus ruralium commodorum, which was one of the few texts on agricultural science to have been published in the Middle Ages, laying down the foundations for the modern agricultural system in Italy. Two different types of this white, round, light-coloured grape with a particularly thick skin can be identified, with one being more fertile while the other is less bountiful.

In the centuries that followed, agriculturalists focused on selecting the different varietal characteristics in order to satisfy the cultivation and enological demands of the various producers. For a long time, however, these producers relied exclusively on the great production potential of the female variety, which however resulted in soulless wines with a rather predictable profile. This effectively penalised this variety, despite its great organoleptic and ageing potential.

Thanks to the efforts of many winegrowers who have been able to keep yields under control by investing in agricultural techniques aimed at quality, today this white wine from the Veneto has regained its true glory. It can therefore be affirmed that the ancestor of the best Garganega grape is the masculine clone. The growing interest in this vine, which had spread like wildfire in the Veronese area, was demonstrated by the fact that more and more ampelographers began examining it, such as Pollini and Zantedeschi, who were the first to establish its diffusion in the nearby Vicenza area.


The Garganega between Soave and Gambellara

Garganega is undoubtedly one of the wines of the Veneto region that has managed to adapt itself in a versatile way to the production areas in which it is most widespread. In the western part of the region, precisely within the boundaries of the Soave appellation, it occupies almost all of the 6,000 hectares planted with vines. Here, where the soils are of ancient volcanic origin, rich in black basaltic rocks, tuff and calcareous deposits, this variety has settled perfectly, especially in the Classica area, which has the highest historical production suitability. Among the representative versions of the area are the more typical Garganega Inama and the more innovative Sassaia di Angiolino Maule.

The other area in which it has found an ideal habitat for its distinctive varietal characteristics is a little further east, within the Gambellara designation, close to the foothills of the Lessini Mountains. Here the soils are still of volcanic origin, but richer in rock fragments and minerals, which are excellent for enhancing the fine qualities of this grape. In smaller percentages and with less fame, it can also be found in the territories around Lake Garda, especially in the Custoza and Valpolicella DOC areas. In all cases it is grown using the traditional Veronese pergola system, which ensures a good vegetative-productive balance of the plant.


Organoleptic Profile and Possible Food Pairings

Garganega usually presents itself in the glass with a luminous straw-yellow colour, with aromas of white flowers and ripe fruit. On the palate it is agile, lean and has an intriguing sapidity that is perfect for pairing with the best traditional Italian dishes.

It can be enjoyed either in its pure form or blended with small percentages of Trebbiano di Soave or Chardonnay grapes. In these cases it perfectly complements some iconic dishes of Veronese and Vicenza cuisine such as bigoli with sardine sauce or gnocchi with white asparagus from Bassano del Grappa, as well as the famous baccalà alla vicentina. It is also possible to enjoy a good glass of Gambellara at the end of a meal, in its Recioto version. This wine is produced from grapes that have been dried and is characterised by a taste that is harmoniously balanced between sugar and alcohol content.

If you are a lover of good food and fine wine, on the Callmewine wine shop you can discover a wide selection of products for sale online, including Garganega wine at a competitive price. Explore the pairing suggestions, characteristics and history of this white wine and buy your favourite one on our online store.