Soave: A Wine tour From Verona

Most probably you associate Verona with the eternal lovers Romeo and Juliet, but it is actually a modern town full of history, culture and art in conjunction with business and entertainment. Nearby you can find exciting and marvellous places such as the Lake of Garda and towns as Peschiera, Sirmione or Soave. Let’s focus on the last one and its top quality wines.

Verona, Italy
Verona Italy a city dedicated to good wine – image source

 Soave, a town dedicated to wine.

The A4 highway communicates Soave with two key cities in Northern Italy: Milan and Venice. Driving from these important metropolis is a real pleasure thanks to the good conditions of the highway and its light traffic.
Its castle was already mentioned during the first millennium and it has an interesting past under the Republic of Venice or the Carraresi family from Padua. You can visit it nowadayas and admire the excellent state of the military building. Do not miss Palazzo Cavalli with frescoes by Falconetto or Santa Maria dei Domenicani church. But the real interest of the town is its excellent wine. Enjoy it during the Medieval fair held during the month of May.

Soave wine, classico and much more

The quality of Soave wine is assured and certified by the labels DOC (Denominazione di Origine Controllata) and DOCG (Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita). A third type of control is named IGT (Indicazione Geografica Tipica) and is preferred by some of the local producers. The main and key ingredient is Garganega grape. Most of the Soave Superiore is produced from vineyards fruits coming from the classico zone, and area created to mark off the best lands.
The zenith of the production took place during the 1970s and 80s as it was highly requested in the United States. As the demand decreased, producers chose to increase the quality instead of the quantity. Almond and citrus flavors are found as a result of the Garganega grapes but it also possesses a smoky and bitter touch coming from the volcanic lands of Verona.

Veneto, Agriturismo Corte Tamellini, Soave (verona)
Wine cellar ready for tasting in Soave – photo source

 

Rocca Sveva winery, a must in Soave

One of the main producers of Soave wine is the renowned winery of Rocca Sveva, founded in 1898. Strategically located near the castle it is as visited as this one. Tradition and modernity are wisely combined to produce exceptional wines. Tunnels underground in which oak barrels are placed, a botanical garden, a meeting room and a tasting area are some of the facilities of the winery.
Spumante or sparkling wine is also produced as well as Valpolicella variety. The main foreign client is the United States, launching an office in Boston in 2010 as its main headquarter in the country.

Guided tours to discover Soave wines attract numerous tourists every year. They are usually willing to discover other local products as well, such as extra virgin olive oil, typically from the area of the Lake of Garda, or honey. But visitors in search of wine prefere to concentrate not only on Soave wines but also on Valpolicella, Bardolino, Lugana or Durello wines.

Soave Docg Superiore, Cangrande 2007 - Sandro De Bruno
Soave is the typical wine from the area of Verona – image source

Lovely Towns Around Lake Garda – Good Cuisine, Scenery and Olive Oil.

With amazing landscapes, countless theme parks – Gardaland, Movie Studios, Medieval Times to name a few – scenic villages and a gourmet gastronomic tradition, exciting water sports to experience, you’ll wish to come again to visit Lake Garda. Start the tour of the lake from the suggestive southern villages of Desenzano, Peschiera and Sirmione or explore its surroundings through tailored itineraries.

Italy
Garda olive Oil is a typical product of the area – image source

What to eat when visiting lake Garda.

Lake Garda cuisine has a very eclectic style, incorporating all the ingredients of the land, and the lake. Of course there is an emphasis on the lake fishes such as Pike and Tench, Risotto that is an always present classic of the Veneto and Lombard cuisine. Home made Pasta such as Bigoli that are a sort of fatten up spaghetti are a ever green classic of the area. The Lake Garda DOP olive oil here is the king of the table and visitor should not miss the opportunity to taste it.

Desenzano, in the province of Brescia (Lombardy)

Located in the south westernmost shore of Lake Garda, Desenzano del Garda or Desenzano is a picturesque village with a medieval heart. This tourist destination in the province of Brescia attracts tourists for summer vacations along its peddled beaches: Desenzanino, Rivoltella and Spiaggia d’Oro. But there are many other interesting activities to do than simply laze around the fresh waters of the lake: explore the great outdoors through hiking trails on Mount Corno, taste local specialities matched with excellent wines – Cabernet, Merlot – and lake fish such as Pike (luccio) topped with the Lake Garda PDO extra virgin olive oil, stroll in the city centre to visit the charming Cathedral of Santa Maria Maddalena and other monuments, experience sailing and windsurf on the lake, enjoy the vibrant night life.
Desenzano is connected with Milan, Venice and other tourist destination through the railway network. From Emilia Romagna, it takes 1h30 of easy drive from the town of Bologna and you will cross the beautiful towns of Modena, Mantua and Verona along the way.

Peschiera del garda, in the province of Verona (Veneto)

Lying on the southeaster bank of the Lake, Peschiera del Garda has been inhabited since Roman times as you may notice visiting its fascinating historical centre characterized by the military fortress and archaeological sites. The city draws pilgrims’ attention for the presence of the church of Madonna del Frassino. Situated at the heart of the natural sites of Laghetto del Frassino and the Mincio Valley, Peschiera del Garda is the perfect starting point for walking excursions in the lush vegetation. The village is placed just a few kilometres from the place of production of one of the finest Italian DOC wines, the Lugana. Enjoy gastronomic tours and have lunch in first-class restaurants serving regional cuisine such as bigoli with sardines, risotto with tench.

bigoli alle millepiume
Bigoli are such a classic around lake Garda – image source

Get to Peschiera del Garda from Verona or Desenzano via the A4 highway. If you want to reach Lake Garda from Bologna, you just need to follow the directions of A1 and A22.

Sirmione, in the province of Brescia (Lombardy)

You may have heard of Sirmione thanks to the poetic works of Catullo, Goethe and Stendhal who fell in love with this little charming site. Placed in a long peninsula it geographically divides Desenzano from Peschiera, giving the opportunity to admire romantic sunsets and the cities skyline by the lake.
Besides being a popular SPA landmark, Sirmione is the production site of the DOC white wine Lugana, so you can take gourmet wine tasting tours.
Its impressive city center is dominated by the Scaligera fortress, Roman villas and monuments dating back the Longobard and the Venetian dominations, so it can be considered an ideal tourist destination for cultural excursions.
As for Desenzano and Peschiera, you can get to Sirmione through the A4 highway if you come from Verona. But if you wouldn’t mind to visit other interesting towns before reaching Lake Garda, travel through the A13 from Bologna for a 2h30 itinerary that includes Ferrara, Padova, Vicenza and Verona.

Wine and Olive oils tours from Desenzano, Peschiera and Sirmione.

Lake Garda has a remarkable climates that allows to grow olive trees in this northern area, actually it is the northernmost olive growing oil area in the world. Emilia Delizia organises  olive oil tours in Cisano at the olive oil museum. The tour also will include tastings and visits at a local producer. Bardolino is also a famous hot spot for high quality wines where visitor can taste the world renowned Amarone wines that are made from raisins. Our company can set up a gourmet day for your group that includes culinary experience such as a Lake Garda wine tour.

The Olive Tree
Stunning Scenery around lake Garda – image source

Gourmet food and skiing on the Italian Alps.

Probably only Italy is the sole country where someone is able to hit the slopes and at at the same time have some gourmet dining experience. Check out some great destination on the Italian Alps like Madonna di Campiglio and Cortina for some hearty traditional Italian food that does not fail to please even the most demanding foodie.

Dolomites
Skiing on the dolomites – Source

From the wonderful scenery of the Dolomites to the captivating landscape of Alps, Italy offers exclusive ski resorts for winter sport enthusiasts. Read on to find out the top winter destinations in Northern Italy where you can enjoy infinite slopes with different level of proficiency, practice your favourite winter sports – snowboard, cross-country, Nordic sky – extreme sports – ice climbing and paragliding – walking tours in natural parks and taste typical products.

Madonna di Campiglio in the Brenta Dolomites (Trentino)

Located in the Rendena Valley, Madonna di Campiglio is a popular ski resort nestled in the Brenta Dolomites Park – UNESCO World Natural Site. With 57 lifts and up to 150 km of slopes, its snow park is one of the best equipped of Northern Italy. Moreover, you have direct access to Pinzolo, Folgarida and Marilleva pistes for never-ending snow adventures.

If the vibrant city center is full of tourists and VIPs, the enchanting surrounding valleys are heavenly peaceful and dotted with the Castles of Trentino.
After a day full of emotions, relax in a restaurant to taste Val Rendena delicacies as polenta, mushrooms and wild games.

Polenta en train de refroidir (1/3)
Polenta is a typical Italian dish made with corn flour – source

Are you ready for an exciting tour? If so, you should get to Madonna di Campiglio ski resort from Emilia Romagna, after an easy drive of about 3 hours, scheduling stops in the beautiful towns of Mantua, Verona, Lake Garda, Rovereto and Trento.

 Bormio & Livigno in the Alps (Lombardy)

Take a breath of fresh air booking mountain holidays in Bormio and Livigno, two of the best ski resorts of Lombardy overlooking the Valtellina valley, near to the Stelvio National Park. When in Bormio, combine chill excursions in the snow and wellness moments at the spa. Over 50 km of superb pistes and the World Cup runs awaits you.

From the village of Bormio, you can access to the snowboarders’ heaven of Livigno to experience freestyle activities on its slopes. Livigno city center if full of après-ski attractions for tourists, so you can rest in cosy restaurants and take a stroll to do shopping. From here, popular locations as Zemez and Saint Moritz, in Switzerland, are quite close. Delight your palate with the pizzoccheri, Sciatt e Manfrigole typical of Valtelline food. Situated in the province of Sondrio, you can get to Bormio and Livigno from Milan in about 3 hours and 4 hours from Bologna.

D. C. Pasta Co.-10
Pizzoccheri traditionally made with buckwheat flour – source

 Cortina d’Ampezzo in the Ampezzo Dolomites (Veneto)

Cortina d’Ampezzo, or simply Cortina, is one of the most exclusive ski resorts in Italy. Provided of state of the art infrastructures and 1120 km of pistes, in 1956 it hosted the Olympics sports and has always been the favourite winter destination for celebrities and aristocrats.

Situated at the heart of the wonderful Natural Park of the Ampezzo Dolomites – UNESCO Natural Heritage Site since 2009 – and lying in the Valle del Boite, Cortina is the ideal point to access the park all year round both for winter sports and summer walking tours.

After a day spent in the high white peaks, you can have a nice walk in the city center surrounded by scenic views of the mountains. As you walk down the Corso Italia, you will find elegant boutiques but also gourmet restaurants offering specialities coming from the Austrian and Tyrol heritage – knodel, the grostl, the apfelstrudel.

Situated in the province of Belluno, Cortina can be reached in two hours from Venice and three hours from Bologna.

For more information about gourmet skiing holidays you can also check our page. 

This article has been written by Valentina.

A Tour into the Valpolicella and Amarone Wines around Lake Garda

A famous holiday destination, Lake Garda is located in northern Italy and is known for the production of wines like Amarone, Ripasso, Recioto and Valpolicella DOC.

producer of amarone wine in Italy
Zeni winery on the shores of lake Garda

Amarone

Amarone is a rich Italian wine made out of raisins. It is made of dried grape varieties of Corvina, Morlinara and Rondinella. As far as the name is concerned, it means ‘bitter wine’. As far as the process of making this wine is concerned, grapes bunch are taken wherein the fruits are placed not very close to each other for air passage and kept on straw racks for around 6 months before the process actually begins. When the juice gets concentrated, wine is made from the juices by squeezing raisins. In Amarone, the quality of outer coating of grapes holds importance because that is what brings good color and gives good flavor to wine. During the drying process, the acid in the grape goes through changes and affects the quality of finished wine. This drying process takes around 4 months and leads to loss of weight. After drying comes the fermentation stage which stays for around 2 months. The last stage is when this wine is aged in oak casks.

Ripasso

Ripasso, as a new style of wine only came into being in the 20th century. In Ripasso, the skin of Amarone is used in the sense that fermenting grape must be put into it. By doing this the wine gets more colorful and gets definite structure. It can be very well taken with meats and salami. In the 21st century with the increase of Amarone wine, the wine market has also seen the growth in production of Ripasso wine. Earlier this wine was not included under DOC rules, but in the present day Ripasso is used freely and you can see several wine bottles stating that the particular wine is made in Ripasso style and has also succeeded in achieving the DOC designation.

Recioto

Recioto is a sweet form of red wine. This wine came into being when the winemakers of Veneto tried to increase the concentration of wine by making it more complex. In order to make the wine sweeter the grapes are dried just after harvesting process. This helps in maintaining the flavor and sweetness in wine by removing water from it. As far as the process to prepare this wine is concerned, the grapes are taken in bunches and kept in room for drying for around 3 months. Previously it was dried on straw mats while in the recent times steel has taken its place. After the drying process, the grapes are squeezed and fermentation takes place until the wine gets concentrated and acquires desired sweetness. It is then aged in containers called barrels for around 2 years.

Valpolicella DOC

Made out of Corvina, Rondinella and Morlinara grape varieties, Valpolicella DOC is a red wine that is light in flavor. This wine is brought out only some time after harvesting process. It is aged for minimum 1 year and has 12 percent alcohol content in it. Valpolicella Doc is the signature wine around Lake Garda. This wine can be easily taken with dishes that you consume everyday especially pasta. It is light and thus generally liked by drinkers.