I vini del Lago di Garda

Wines of Lake Garda

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The wine production sector is one of the highlights of the wonderful Lake Garda region. This is not surprising, considering that both the province of Verona and the province of Brescia are internationally renowned for their outstanding winemaking tradition. So, if you are a wine enthusiast or simply curious to discover the flavors of this enchanting land, we highly recommend you enjoy a relaxing tasting at one of the many prestigious wineries in Benaco, scattered among the idyllic morainic hills overlooking the lake.

Here are the main wines of Lake Garda that you must try during your next visit to the lake.

Bardolino

Let’s start with what is probably the most famous and renowned wine of Lake Garda, Bardolino, a red wine produced in the area surrounding the town of the same name on the Veronese coast. There are mainly three types bottled: Bardolino DOC, Bardolino Novello, and Bardolino Chiaretto.

Bardolino DOC, along with its variants “Bardolino Classico DOC” and “Bardolino Superiore DOCG,” is made through a special blend of grapes: Corvina, Corvinone, Rondinella, and Molinara. The result, with its ruby red color and delicate fruity notes, is a highly drinkable and extremely versatile wine, perfect for pairing with dishes based on fresh pasta, lake fish, or risottos.

The uniqueness of Bardolino Novello, produced exclusively through carbonic maceration, is that it must be bottled by the end of the calendar year in which the grapes were harvested. As such, it is a wine that should be consumed within a few months of being released. Bardolino Novello is the first Italian novello wine to obtain DOC certification, and tradition dictates that it should be enjoyed with chestnuts on St. Martin’s Day.

Then there is the famous Bardolino Chiaretto, a rosé wine whose light color is due to the must being left in contact with the grape skins for a precise amount of time. It is a fresh, light wine with citrus notes, perfect for a relaxing summer aperitif on Lake Garda.

vini del lago di garda
vini del lago di garda

Bianco di Custoza

Custoza is a DOC white wine produced in the charming morainic hills of Verona, located southeast of Lake Garda, specifically in the area encompassing the municipalities of Valeggio sul Mincio, Sona, Pastrengo, and Peschiera del Garda.

Made from vineyard varieties such as Garganega, Trebbianello, and Cortese, Bianco di Custoza should be served very cold and is particularly suited for the summer season. Its flavor is balanced, slightly bitter, and has pleasant fruity and floral notes: it is ideally paired with fish, whether it be appetizers, first courses, or main dishes.

In addition to the classic Custoza DOC, other varieties are also produced, such as Superiore, Spumante, and Passito, the latter being perfect for accompanying desserts.

Lugana

This DOC white wine originates from the Lugana area south of Lake Garda, straddling the border between the provinces of Brescia and Verona. The vineyard that produces Lugana, called Turbiana or Trebbiano di Lugana, has ancient origins with traces found dating back to the Bronze Age. As for the wine itself, its name even appears in a work by the famous poet Catullus.

Different types of Lugana wine are also produced, including Superiore, Riserva, Vendemmia Tardiva, and Spumante, each with its own unique characteristics.

The classic Lugana DOC presents a straw yellow color with greenish and golden reflections; on the palate, it is fresh, smooth, and thirst-quenching, with light floral notes. The delicacy and versatility of Lugana make it suitable for any type of meal, although it is particularly well-suited for lake fish-based menus.

vini lago di garda
vini lago di garda

Garda Classico Groppello

This renowned red wine is named after the particular grape variety used in its production, which grows in the Valtenesi area, southwest of Lake Garda, and generally along the Brescia coast. Garda Classico Groppello boasts the DOC designation and presents a beautiful ruby red color. Its flavor is very delicate, revealing spicy and sometimes fruity aromas: this prestigious red wine is best enjoyed with an appetizer of cured meats or cheeses, flavorful first courses, and especially with roasted or grilled meat dishes.

The Valtenesi area is also famous for producing other fine wines, such as Valtenesi Rosso DOC, a red with spicy notes, and Valtenesi Chiaretto DOC, belonging to the same category as Bardolino Chiaretto.

Marzemino

Moving to the Trentino shores of the lake, we encounter Marzemino, a wine with an intense ruby color and an aromatic bouquet ranging from berries to floral notes of violet. It is an elegant, medium-bodied wine with a fresh and slightly tannic taste. Ideal for accompanying meat dishes, cured meats, and cheeses, Marzemino is particularly famous for its mention in Mozart’s opera “Don Giovanni,” where it is praised for its quality.

vino del lago di garda
vino del lago di garda

Terra dei Forti

Terra dei Forti is an area located in the Venetian part of the Valdadige, named for its abundance of medieval castles and fortresses. Two main grape varieties grow in this region, Enantio and Casetta, each lending its name to the high-quality wines produced from them. Although these red wines are less known compared to those mentioned so far, they are no less interesting: Enantio is a full-bodied and fresh wine with spicy notes reminiscent of berries, while Casetta has a more intense red color and is characterized by aromas of plum, tobacco, and cinnamon.

Valpolicella

Valpolicella is another prestigious red wine from the Veneto region. Produced primarily with Corvina, Rondinella, and Molinara grapes, Valpolicella is renowned for its versatility and variety of styles, ranging from the young and fruity Valpolicella Classico to the full-bodied and structured Amarone della Valpolicella. Characterized by aromas of cherries, plums, and spices, with a soft tannic structure, Valpolicella pairs perfectly with pasta dishes, red meats, and game, making it an excellent choice for various occasions.

vini tipici lago di garda
vini tipici lago di garda

To conclude this journey through the wines of Lake Garda, there’s no better way than to invite you to personally discover the region’s wineries. Each sip encapsulates the passion of the local winemakers and the richness of the land. So, book a visit to the many wineries, immerse yourself in the vineyards, and let the experts guide you, sharing the stories and secrets of each bottle.

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A Guide to Camper Stopovers at Lake Garda, town by town

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The Alto Garda Bresciano Park: an area of ​​rare natural beauty.

Discover the towns of Lake Garda
Trentino
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