If the production regulations for the new Soave Superiore D.O.C.G. are also brand new, those for Soave D.O.C. (a denomination now 34 years old) have also undergone a careful restyling. A leading role is played by Soave Classico, which almost becomes a denomination in its own right, while for the hillside areas outside the historic zone, the name” Colli Scaligeri” has been coined.
The permitted grapes are the same as for the Soave Superiore D.O.C.G., placing new emphasis just on the quality varieties and excluding Trebbiano Toscano which, before, had been allowed to constitute up to 15% of the blend.
For the styles of Soave which must come from hillside sites, the minimum level of alcohol has also been raised by half a per cent and the dry extract has been increased to 18 grams/litre.
As from next year, new plantings may only be trained according to the following methods: single or double Espalier; single, unilateral Pergola; or uni- or bi-lateral small Veronese Pergola (pergoletta veronese). In every case, there must be no less than 3,300 vines per hectare.
For all three wines – Soave, Soave Classico and Soave Colli Scaligeri – the new, revised regulations have, therefore, raised two of the parameters that are most important for quality: the level of alcohol and the net dry extract.
This, then, is a new challenge for Soave, which is thus re-positioning itself significantly with regard to other D.O.C.s (particularly those of recent constitution) and reclaiming its role as one of Italy’s great terroir-based whites.
This challenge is based on new rules for the producers and greater clarity for the consumer.