Soave Wine : A Lesson in Italian White Wine

For white wine lovers and those who just love to try interesting wines, Soave is your next dinner party wine!
Pronounced as swarr – vay, this classic Italian white wine is made from the Garganega grapes grown in the hillside vineyards of Soave, an astonishing mediaeval town with a Castle and walls situated a few kilometres east of Verona in northeastern Italy. 

The village of Soave has a rich history since the time of the Roman Age. It played an important part as a Roman centre connecting ancient Roman cities in Italy. But the unforgettable wines in this region exist to this day. According to legends, the name Soave wine was found in the writings of the famous Italian poet, writer and philosopher Dante Alghieri. 


Garganega Grapes and Types of Soave Wine

The Garganega grape, a late-ripening variety, is one of the oldest grape varieties in Italy. It is also the 6th most planted white grape. It doesn’t have a distinct aroma but has notes of almonds and white flowers. Soave’s hillside is fertile due to its unique soil composition— it is rich in limestone and other sedimentary materials such as alkaline, clay and volcanic rocks. Soave wine is produced with a minimum of 70% Garganega grape while the 30% blend can come from Trebbiano di Soave. 


Here are the 5 types of Soave: 

  • Soave - Produced in the flatlands of Soave, this is the standard Soave style that is affordable.

  • Soave Spumante - A sparkling Soave wine

  • Soave Colli Scalier - This is Soave made in the hillier areas outside of the Classico Zone. This is more expensive than the regular Soave.

  • Soave Classico - The original or “Classico” Soave grown in the hills above Castello di Soave. This is also an expensive Soave type.

  • Recioto di Soave - This is a sweeter variety of Soave wine done in the process of drying the grapes for a short time and slowly fermenting the wine.

  • Superiore - Soave Superiore are made from higher quality grapes. The wine is aged for at least 8 months. 



Soave white wine became most popular in the United States after World War II. It has three Denominazione di Origine Controllata (DOC): Soave, Soave Classico and Soave Colli Scaligeri. Soave DOC has an annual production of 30 million bottles. It is lean, straightforward and sometimes nutty in flavour. On the other hand, Soave Classico yields 12 million bottles per year. Soave Colli Scaligeri is not considered by some as a type, and is labelled simply as Soave. 

Soave also achieved two Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita: Soave Superiore DOCG and Recioto di Soave DOCG. Soave Superiore DOCG is made from carefully selected ripe grapes in the best vineyards. Due to its popularity, the Soave Superiore DOCG has a limited yield. Recioto di Soave DOCG received the distinction in 1998, a first achievement in Veneto. It is made from semi-dried grapes placed in special racks above the cellars for at least three months before it is pressed and fermented. 


Taste and Food Pairing for Soave Wine

Soave, typically, has a peach, honeydew, citrus with notes of saltiness on the palate. It smells with notes of green herbs, melon and white peach. Accordingly, grapes produced from volcanic soil have high levels of acidity and a fruity aroma, cinnamon and almond, while grapes produced in the limestone hills have hints of tropical, floral and citrus aroma. 

Recioto di Soave has a distinct honey-like colour. Its flavour has traces of fruit, raisin and sweet spices. Its dry and sweeter flavour is due to the residual sugar left while drying the grapes. Soave that tastes bitter and with an almond finish are the cheaper variety. Soave that is aged for more than five years has surprisingly intense flavours of marmalade, lemon, honey, fennel seed and beeswax.

Soave wine generally pairs with seafoods such as mussels, scallops, lobster and certain fish varieties. It also tastes well with grilled poultry.

Villa Canestrari Soave Superiore

Villa Canestrari is a true artisan winery and the Villa Canestrari Soavé Superiore DOCG Riserva 2015 rated 97/100 is an outstanding wine where you can taste the history of the area! Popsy & JJ found a family that is obsessed with this grape and making amazing wine! They have been making wine for 4 generations. The lessons passed down from family member to family member are still being used today. 

The harvesting starts around mid-September and ends in October; two passes through the vineyards and careful grape selection ensures perfect ripening. The grapes are then left to dry for two months. The wine matures for at least one year in new, lightly toasted barrels, thus encouraging the malolactic fermentation. Bottling is followed by extended cellaring before release.

Villa Canestrari, when poured, is a golden straw colour. Its aroma abounds with exotic fruit and gorgeous spicy, nutty notes.  The palate has just a hint of vanilla with quite intense stone fruit, and traces of banana and pineapple.  Its superb balance is a credit to their masterly vinification. Popsy & JJ matched this with a Barramundi fillet with crispy skin and these two together are like Tubs and Crocket from Miami Vice, a great team for a summer day!

You can order this outstanding wine in our collection today!


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