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Region: Veneto

Soave DOC

Soave is located east of Verona, at the base of Mount Lessini, where the zone partially overlaps with Valpolicella. The origin of the name, Soave, is uncertain, to put it mildly.

Some believe that it originates from the Middle Ages, but it can also have derived from the Italian word "suave", which is often used to describe accessible and appealing wine, something mild and gentle. Others believe that it originates from the German name Schwabe, which was the name of a Germanic tribe that, under the leadership of Alboin, king of the Lombards, established the city Soave in the 500s.

Another suggestion is a bit more exotic, and is taken from Shakespeare’s tragedy Romeo and Juliet. It suggests that Romeo, when he tasted a wine after a meeting with Juliet, exclaimed ”Soave,” to the waiter who brought him the wine goblet. This is the preferred explanation amongst tour guides in Verona.

In more recent times, Soave was the preferred wine of poet, Gabriele D'Annunzio (1863-1938). Once, as he was enjoying a glass of Soave, he mused: "It is a wine of love and youth, so it really isn’t for me, now that I am burdened with many years and have always been a discreet lover. If it can’t give me back my 20s, at least it can remind me of them."

Regardless of its origins, Soave experienced a significant breakthrough as a white wine in the 1970s, when it was quite popular in Denmark. It was imported in 1½ liter bottles, but the only thing great about the wine was the size of its bottle. The contents were not that exciting, to put it mildly, which unfortunately, has contributed to the fact that many still turn up their noses at the Soave name, and that is a shame and a pity.

Even though Soave was a very standardized product a few years ago, the quality has increased remarkably, as a result of more serious producers focusing on both quantity and quality.

Depending on the type, Soave is cultivated around the city of the same name. There are also two so-called sub-zones connected to the zone, where Soave Classico and a Soave Colli Scaligeri are cultivated.

The best producers can be found in an increasing group of family farms, where quality is prized. Look for wines from Anselmi, Coffele, Pieropan and Agostino Vicentini, a new generation of young Soave producers, who produce a Soave Classico that is considered to be one of Italy’s best white wines.

Did you know?

Italy extends over 10 latitudes – from continental climate to subtropical climate?