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Soave DOCG first production released to little excitement

The Soave Superiore and Superiore Classico DOCG is due to release its first production of 'Super Soave' DOCG at the end of this month.

Veneto’s third DOCG appellation, covering some 125 hectares and 79 estates, was approved in September 2001. The first year of production, an estimated 500,000 bottles from 16 estates, will start with the 2002 vintage.

The production is limited to the hills and foothills previously included in the regulations for Recioto di Soave DOCG, with some small changes in the Illasi Valley and with the inclusion of Monte Gazzo and Monte Bisson.

Wines from the new DOCG must iinclude at least 70% Garganega and a maximum of 30% Trebbiano di Soave, Chardonnay, and Pinot Bianco. Trebbiano Toscano may no longer be used. The maximum yield has been reduced to 70 hectolitres per hectare and a minimum of 3,300 vines per hectare.

‘It’s a great advantage to our image,’ said Luca Sabatini of cooperative Cantina di Soave, which will be releasing some 200,000 DOCG bottles this year out of its 32m total production.

But not all producers are convinced. According to premium Soave producer Stefano Inama it depends on how the new appellation regulations are applied, especially as 90% of the new DOCG is in the hands of the cooperatives.

‘It’s definitely to their advantage but my doubts are as to whether they will adhere to the quality controls,’ he said.

‘Quite frankly the DOCG will not make that much difference. Producers who strove for quality before its application will continue to do so.’ Inama will be releasing some 10,000 bottles of DOCG Superiore in July 2003.


Written by Michele Shah 21 March 2003

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