The presence of vines on the hills that characterize the area around Lake Garda has been documented since the Bronze Age. In prehistoric sites like Peschiera, Pacengo, Cisano and Bardolino archaeologists have found many grape seeds. Wine production continued in the Roman rural villas whose remains can be seen in many of the towns that overlook the lake (Sirmione, Desenzano). Nowadays vineyards and well kept olive groves characterize the landscape of the hills surrounding the coast.
The region’s wines are all recognized as DOC, a Denominazione di Origine Controllata that guarantees that the grapes used to make the wine are grown in specific areas and that the whole process of making the wine is carried out according to precise disciplinary standards. The wines of the area range from light and refreshing rosatos to full-bodied reds. The classics of the region include Amarone, from the area that stretches across the ancient Morainic Hills on the Verona side of the lake, to Bardolino, Custoza and Rive del Garda Classico, all on the Brescia shore.
Lugana is a DOC wine that straddles Lombardy and Veneto on the southern shore of the lake and it is made with Trebbiano di Lugana, which is a biotype of Verdicchio. The easy-drinking white Custoza is typically blended from nine allowable grape varieties and includes Garganega, Fernanda and Cortese.
All of the above are ideal wines to pair with the regional cuisine which is based on simple ingredients that are seasoned with a variety of herbs and spices. A visit to a wine cellar and a tasting of the wines of the region is a fantastic way to discover the local tradition of this beautiful territory. wine lake garda