In June 2019, I had the unique opportunity to attend a Lake Garda Press trip sponsored by the Garda DOC Consortium. Lake Garda is Italy’s largest lake and is home to fantastically fresh, mineral driven, and almost saline sparking wines called GardaDOC. This spumante is unlike any kind of sparkling wine I’ve sampled before and is certainly worth a try.
A Sparkling Wine That Screams Minerality
The GardaDOC Spumante is made within 10 appellations of the lake Garda region. These regions include: Valtenèsi, San Martinno deela Battaglia, Lugana, Colli Mantovani, Custoza, Bardolino, Valpolicella, Valdadige, Durello, and Soave. The Garda Doc can be comprised of a wide variety of grapes including: Garganega, Pinot Grigio, and/or Trebbiano, and Chardonnay. For the rosé local grape varieties such as Corvina, Rondinella, Pinot Nero, and Merlot may be used. Interestingly, there is no law at this current time dictating fermentation process, it may be either the traditional or tank method. They may also range in sweetness. from Brut Nature to Demi-SecCurrent bottle production is at about 7 million with plans to reach 20 million bottles in the near future.
But wait, there’s cheese.
Aboutw 100 miles away in the Dolomites a special type of cheese is made called Piave. About 300,000 wheels are produced annually and the DOC was established in 2010 to protect this cheese, maned solely by a small group of cooperative farmers. This cheese comes from special Italian cows and due to the process in which the cheese is made it has a very low lactose content. I sampled this cheese a few weeks ago at C. Di Palo on Mott Street. Di Palo has been family owned and operated since 1925 in the heart of Little Italy. Their Wine bar/resturant next door is a great place to stop in for a glass of wine or some small bites.
A Perfect Pair?
The great thing about Gardadoc sparkling wine is that the bubbles act as a palate refresher. When you’re consuming medium intensity cheeses a palate cleanser like Gardadoc is a great choice. Piave cheese is a fun cheese substitute for any recipe you might use Parmesan. Try it out.
The Future Looks Bright
At the present time it looks like Italian wines will be exempt from tariffs. This is a good thing for Italian producers especially in the upcoming months (summer!!). In addition to GardaDoc Spumante there are also Garda Doc monovarietal still wines, Bardolino chiaretto rosé, and Valtènesi Chiaretto Rosé. Exciting things are certainly developing in the Lake Garda Region. I hope to travel back again soon.
For more on Travel to the region please see my article on WineTraveler.com