The Italian Ministry of Agriculture has officially recognised 33 ‘cru’ vineyards covering just under 40% of the area under vine in Soave, following an 18-year zoning project by the region’s consorzio.
The geographical units or crus are all located on hillsides in the Soave region, with 29 from the Soave Classico zone, two in Val d’Alpone boasting dark volcanic soils in the east of the region, and three with calcareous soils in the west.
The ‘Vigne del Soave’ zoning project was begun by the Consorzio in 2000 and mapped different soil types, altitudes and topography across the region. While many of the new official ‘crus’ are already used on labels by producers in Soave, they now have formal status.
Producers making wine in the new crus are now required to “show traceability throughout the production process”.
The 33 Soave crus are as follows: Castelcerino, Colombara, Froscà, Fittà, Foscarino, Volpare, Tremenalto, Carbonare, Tent, Corte Durlo, Rugate, Croce, Costalunga, Coste, Zoppega, Menini, Monte Grande, Ca ‘del Vento, Castellaro, Pressoni, Broia, Brognoligo, Costalta , Paradiso, Costeggiola, Casarsa, Monte di Colognola, Campagnola, Pigno, Duello, Sengialta, Ponsarà, Roncà – Monte Calvarina.
Commenting on the formal classification, Aldo Lorenzoni, director of the Consorzio of Soave said: “The approval of these geographic units is a great vindication for Soave. We have a long tradition of using these locations on labels, so as to honour our terroir and to help the consumer. But now we can talk about the nuanced identity of Soave with even more impact and confidence.
“We know from our promotional events in the UK that the recognition of and appetite for the diverse styles of Soave is strong. We look forward to showing the diverse and newly official crus of Soave though the upcoming Summer of Soave promotion, and beyond.”
The Soave region was first delineated in 1931, becoming a DOC in 1968 with the Consorzio formed a year later to promote the region’s wines.
A DOCG for Soave Superiore was introduced in 2002 which has lower permitted yields and higher minimum alcohol (12% ABV). Other Soave denominations include Soave Classico DOC (the original area), Soave Colli Scaligeri DOC (hillsides outside the Classico zone), Soave DOC (an overarching DOC covering entire region including the plains which can be used for declassifying wines) and Recioto di Soave DOCG (for sweet wines made from dried Garganega grapes).
The Consorzio di Tutela del Soave e Recioto di Soave is hosting a UK trade and press tasting in London on 21st June called Summer of Soave.