Only white wine is produced in the Soave region with a minimum of 70% of the wine coming from the Garganega grape. For Soave DOC wine, up to 30% of the blend can come from Trebbiano di Soave which is also known as Verdicchio and Nestrano. This grape is different from the Trebbiano Toscano variety that is grown in the Tuscany region of Italy and is also known as the Ugni blanc grape used in Cognac production. Trebbiano Toscano is permitted in Soave but can comprise no more than 15% of the blend. All the grapes used for the DOC wine must be harvested to a yield no greater than 14 tonnes/hectare with the finished wine fermented to a minimum alcohol level of at least 10.5%.
In the Soave Superiore DOCG, Garganega must also account for a minimum of 70% of the wine but Pinot bianco, Chardonnay and Trebbiano di Soave are allowed to fill up to 30% of the remaining blend with Trebbiano Toscano and other local white grape varieties (such as Friulano, Cortese, Riesling Italico, Vespaiolo and Serprina) permitted up to 5% collectively. Grapes are harvested to a more restricted maximum yield of 10 tonnes/ha while the finished DOCG wines must reach a minimum alcohol level of 11.5%.
While most Soave Superiore DOCG is produced from vineyards within the classico zone, the boundaries for the DOCG also extend to some of the hillside vineyards that are outside the classico zone. These wines are labeled as Soave Colli Scaligeri Superiore DOCG—a name referencing the hills around Verona that used to belong to the noble Scaligeri family that were Lords of Verona for many years.
Additionally, there are also new regulations for planting under the DOCG system with new vineyards needing to be trained using Espalier systems with at least 4000 vine per hectare. For those vines planted before 2002, the Espalier system, Pergola Inclinata and Pergoletta Veronese are allowed. Soave DOCG may be released on to the market only after 1 September of the year following the harvest and after bottle aging of at least three months.
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