The Soave production zone is situated in the eastern part of the hills in the province of Verona (north of the “serenissima” highway, between the 18th and 25th kilometres of the VR-VE road). Back in 1931 Soave was already the most important Italian wine and was recognised as a “typical and prestigious” wine, and its identity was definitively protected by recognition of the controlled designation of origin in 1968 (DPR 21st August 1968).
The zone includes part or all of the lands belonging to the municipalities of Soave, Monteforte, San Martino B.A., Lavagno, Mezzane, Caldiero, Colognola, Illasi, Cazzano, San Bonifacio, Roncà, Montecchia and S. Giovanni Ilarione.
Garganega is the designation’s principal grape variety, and over the centuries it has found an ideal habitat here in the contours of the Alpone, Tramigna, Illasi and Mezzane valleys. In the vast, high quality scenario of prestigious Veronese wines, this ideal symbiosis of environment and vine variety, necessary for the production of quality white wines, has only been achieved in these hills of tufaceous volcanic land with large limy outcrops.
The Soave DOC (also in a sparkling version) is reserved for “Soave” wines, and specifies two sub- zones defined as “Classico” and “Colli Scaligeri”. The wines must contain at least 70% Garganega and can contain up to 30% of Trebbiano di Soave or Chardonnay. Within the 30% there can also be a maximum of 5% of other neutral, not aromatic varieties of white grapes normally cultivated in the Verona province. For all three wines – Soave, Soave Classico and Soave Colli Scaligeri – the latest regulations have raised two of the parameters that are most important for quality: the level of alcohol and the net dry extract.
The use of the specification “Classico” with the designation “Soave” is reserved for the product made from grapes harvested and vinified in the municipalities of Soave and Monteforte d’Alpone, ie. the oldest, original “classic” zone.
As of 2015, 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.
The Soave Superiore which carries the DOCG (controlled and guaranteed status) is reserved for “Soave Superiore”, “Soave Superiore” classico and “Soave Superiore” riserva. The wines must contain at least 70% Garganega and can contain up to 30% of Trebbiano di Soave. Within the 30% there can be a maximum of 5% of other white varieties of grapes cultivated in the Verona Province. The zones remain the same as the Soave DOC regulations.
Recioto di Soave was the first wine to obtain DOCG status in the Veneto, It is an extraordinary wine obtained from garganega air-dried over several months before pressing, with yields which cannot exceed 40%.