The walled city of Soave in the Veneto region is the source (and namesake) of one of the great classic Italian white wines. The town dates from Roman times, and so does the winemaking tradition. The Romans were big fans of minerally, floral wines like those of Soave. The Garganega grapes, that for many centuries have produced Soave wines, come mainly from vineyards in the hills that rise behind the town and march northwestward toward the eastern Valpolicella. This area is now known as Soave Classico and is still the source of the best wines of the denomination due to the hills’ volcanic soils.
Leaving Soave through the Porta Aquila—the north gate of the city’s 14th-century walls—a walk of a mile and a quarter (including a climb of about 500 feet) leads to the top of Mount Foscarino, a dormant volcano now covered with grapevines. In the 1960s, Giuseppe Inama began buying up small vineyard plots on this peak in the heart of the Soave Classico zone, and as a result, the Inama winery today owns most of the vineyards on Mount Foscarino. Giuseppe Inama saw the great potential of these old, traditional vineyards at a time when others were more intent on producing larger quantities in the plains for inexpensive exports. His son Stefano, who took over the winemaking duties in 1992, has continued to work tirelessly to realize the potential of these vineyards, working with some of the very best vineyard management consultants in the world to get Inama’s vineyards into the best possible shape.
Near the top of the hill is a large wooden platform with a 270-degree panoramic view to the south and east. To the right at a distance, it is easy to spot the crenelated walls and towers of Soave Castle as it keeps watch over the town. In the foreground are Inama’s tidy vigneti di Foscarino (Foscarino vineyards). And to the left, over the vineyards and across a broad valley, are a set of hills that are the home of Inama’s other project. These hills—the Colli Berici—is composed of iron-rich terra Rossa, a soil type that is prized worldwide as being ideal for growing red winegrapes, and indeed this is where Inama gets its red wines.
Cabernet Sauvignon - the most planted grape in the world
Cabernet Sauvignon has good palatability and yield stability. It is originally from the Bordeaux region of France and is suitable for many different climates. Characterized by thick skins and late ripening, tannins are strong, full-bodied, and jerky when young. The aroma of Cabernet Sauvignon is dominated by black fruit, vegetable, and roasted aromas. Young Cabernet Sauvignon wines have fruit aromas such as mint and plum. After aging, the taste becomes smooth and rich, showing cedar, tobacco, leather, mushroom, and mineral flavors. Cabernet Sauvignon wine is greatly affected by the ripeness of the grapes when the grapes are harvested. When the fruit is not perfectly ripe, it will show a more obvious green pepper and vegetable smell. On the contrary, the brewed wine will show black vinegar jam when the fruit is ripe. The aroma and taste are also very similar to jam.
Veneto - the most famous of the 3 major producing regions in northeastern Italy
Veneto is a substantial and increasingly important wine region in the northeastern corner of Italy. Administratively it forms part of the Triveneto zone, along with its smaller neighbors Trentino-Alto Adige and Friuli-Venezia Giulia. In terms of geography, culture, and wine styles, it represents a transition between the alpine, Germano-Slavic end of Italy and the warmer, drier, more Roman lands to the south.
Veneto is slightly smaller than Italy's other main wine-producing regions – Piedmont, Tuscany, Lombardy, Puglia, and Sicily – yet it generates more wine than any of them. Although the southern regions Sicily and Puglia were for a long time Italy's main wine producers, this balance began to shift north towards Veneto in the latter half of the 20th Century. In the 1990s, southern Italian wine languished in an increasingly competitive and demanding world, while Veneto upped its game, gaining recognition with such wines as Valpolicella, Amarone, Soave, and Prosecco.
With fruity red Valpolicella complementing its intense Amarone and sweet Recioto counterparts, Veneto is armed with a formidable portfolio of red wines to go with its refreshing whites, such as Soave and sparkling Prosecco. Although much of the new vineyard area that supported Veneto's increased wine output was of questionable viticultural quality, today more than 25 percent of the region's wine is made and sold under DOC/DOCG titles.