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Wines of Garda DOC Play Well With Lake Garda Experiences To Solidify Its Strong Identity

Wines of Garda DOC Play Well With Lake Garda Experiences To Solidify Its Strong Identity

What better location to gather our group of international journalists than the historic Villa San Vigilio found at the tip of Monte Baldo with sweeping views of Lake Garda? With plenty of Garda DOC wines in hand, sunset views of (almost) the entire lake, and dinner featuring traditional cuisine, the memorable early June evening was a compelling example of how our trip, Garda Wine Stories, was successful in showcasing wine, food, culture and the lake itself to reveal the region’s strong identity.

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Villa San Vigilio

Villa San Vigilio, built in the 16th century, is considered to be the most beautiful villas in Verona and a notable example of Renaissance architecture in all of Italy. By all accounts, it has been a place of culture thanks to Agostino Brenzoni, the original owner, an intellectual who spent his life writing poetry and collecting classical artwork.

Our group strolled through the ancient garden with its abundance of Mediterranean plants including cypress, olive and lemon trees, agave and oleander. A short walk away, was a small Christian church co-existing with a collection of pagan Roman statues, brought from Rome after its sack in 1527, with both Latin and Italian inscriptions. Villa San Vigilio is now used as a stunning venue for weddings and other events. For more information, click HERE.

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Photo Credit: Villa San Vigilio

Food and Wines of Garda DOC

Conversation during aperitivo was inspired by mesmerizing views of the lake coupled with sips of Garda DOC wines and small bites of local cheeses and delicacies. Afterwards, the group walked to a sun-filled porch to meet dozens of producers who proudly poured their Garda DOC wines.

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Garda DOC sparkling wines were exceptional and each could (and should!) have a place at my table. Most were made using the charmat method whereby the second fermentation is in stainless steel tanks; others were produced with the traditional method in which the second fermentation is in the bottle. White wines of Pinot Bianco, Pinot Grigio, Trebbiano and Chardonnay were fresh, mineral driven and easy drinking, yet other styles were more savory and complex. Cool climate red wines included those of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Pinot Nero – each offered varying degrees of oak notes, savory elements, red and black fruit and an unexpected richness. All of those I tasted were food friendly – but of course! Wine is meant to pair with food. Cue the glorious dinner.

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Each of the guests was asked to sit at a specific table so that we could forge relationships with new-to-us producers, journalists and those representing Garda DOC. Naturally, conversation continued to flow as four courses were served and wines were poured.

Paired with the Entrée of crispy sea bass in scapece style, red bell pepper, confit ‘cornetto’, and burrata foam (persico croccante in scapece, peperone rosso, “cornetto” confit e spuma di burrata) was Azienda Agricola (Az. Agr.) Prendina Cuvee Maison, Garda DOC Spumante Metodo Classico Brut and Az. Agr. Perla del Garda “Cuvee Extra Brut,” Garda DOC Spumante Metodo Classico Extra Brut 2018. Both wines, with their brilliant acidity, minerality and palate profile, were counterpoints to the texture and lightness of the fish, as well as the spice of the sauce.

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The Primo Piatto of warm spaghettino with Garda lemon cream, chive oil, trout eggs, and its bottarga (spaghettino tiepido con crema ai limoni del Garda, olio all’erba cipollina, uova di trota e la sua bottarga) was a succulent delight especially complemented with vibrant and flavorful Cantine Vitevia “Ca Vegar” Garda DOC Pinot Grigio 2023 and complex, medium bodied Az. Agr. Gozzi “Colombara” Garda DOC Chardonnay 2021.

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A perfectly-cooked veal fillet with Rosa Camuna cheese, thyme-infused confit ‘cornetto’ peppers, Duchess potatoes, and grilled zucchini (filetto di vitello con rosa camuna, filange di peperoni cornetto confit al timo, patate duchessa e zucchine grigliate) was the Secondo Piatto. Both Az. Agr. Ricchi “Carpino” Garda DOC Merlot 2018 and Az. Agr. Santa Cristina Garda DOC Cabernet Sauvignon 2021 enhanced the rich mouthfeel of the veal dish with their savory, red and black fruits, medium body and subtle oak notes.

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A grand finale was Biancaneve, a word that translates to “Snow White” in English. In a culinary context, Biancaneve can refer to a dessert or a dish named after the fairy tale character Snow White, often featuring ingredients or presentation that evoke the imagery associated with the character (such as white and pure elements). In this case, we enjoyed a creamy white chocolate mousse with raspberry fruit, almost gelatinous, topping and sipped Brolodei Giusti Garda DOC Passito 2020, of Garganega and Chardonnay. This sweet wine offered spice and dried fruit aromas with notes of vanilla, honey, caramel on the palate.

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The Strong Identity of Garda DOC

The strong identity of Garda DOC includes food friendly wines of elegance, freshness, minerality, affordability and quality. But what truly sets it apart as a unique region? The wines are forever linked to the culture and experiences of and at Lake Garda. The evening of wine, food and history at Villa San Vigilio proved just that.

Cheers! ~ Cindy

For more Garda Wine Stories, you may be interested in Lake Garda and Garda DOC Wines – Inseparable and Unforgettable

 

The post Wines of Garda DOC Play Well With Lake Garda Experiences To Solidify Its Strong Identity appeared first on Grape Experiences.

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