Garganega [gahr-gah-NEH-gah] is a variety of white Italian wine grape widely grown in the Veneto (wine) region of North East Italy, particularly in the provinces of Verona and Vicenza. It is Italy's 6th most widely planted white grape. It forms the basis of Venetian white wine Soave and is also a major portion of the blend used to make Gambellara. Ampelographers believe the grape to be related to the Grecanico grape of Sicily due to the similarities of clusters, berries and leaf characteristics but there has been conclusive DNA evidence linking the two vines.
In the Soave region, Garganega is the primary grape and can compose anywhere from 70 to 100% of the blend with Trebbiano and Chardonnay being its usual blending partners. In the Classico zone of Soave, where yields are most often kept in check, the grape can produce a delicate wine with lemon, almond and spicy notes. In addition to Soave, Garganega is also widely grown in the Gambellara, Bianco di Custoza, Colli Berici and Colli Euganei DOCs. Outside of the Veneto, there are some plantings in the Umbria and Friuli wine regions.
Viticulture and winemaking
The Garganega vine has a tendency to ripen late and can be very vigorous. In the fertile, flatlands outside the Soave Classico zone, the grape can produce excessively high yields that lead to very thin and neutral flavored wines. The acid levels in Garganega lends itself well to the production of sweet recioto wines that have the potential to improve with bottle age for a decade or more.
It has medium leaf, pentagonal, five, with teeth very pronounced edge a bit dull green 'Bullous, glabrous; bunch long, cylindrical, with wings very prominent, relatively sparse, with the spine that often splits at the tip. Spheroid medium berry, golden yellow, thick skin, flesh juicy and simple.
Follows, by region, a list of all DOC and DOCG is allowed where the use of this vine
Garda and Garda Classico - alone or in blends
Garda Colli Mantovani - blend in
Arcola or Arcola Sand Wine (not yet launched) - blend in
Bardolino - blend in
Custoza white - blend in
Berici Hills - blend in
Gambellara - alone or in blends
Lessini Durello - blend in
Recioto di Soave - alone or in blends
Soave - alone or in blends
Vicenza (not yet launched) - alone or in blends
Amerini Hills - blend in
Colli Perugini - blend in
Gargana, Lizzana, Ostesona