The Soave wine area is probably not on many wine traveler’s destinations when they visit Italy. Why go to Soave when there are the beautiful Tuscan hills, the land of Chianti and Brunello wines or the amazing Piemonte region, where Barolo and Barbaresco wines reign. We are very happy that we decided to travel to Soave; it is as spectacular and interesting as any wine country we have visited. The best part is that there are hardly any tourists around. We practically had all of Soave to ourselves.
We were contacted by the Soave Wine Consortium and asked if we could visit following our European Wine Bloggers post conference to Chianti Classico. We left our Brescia hotel and drove for 75 minutes to the east. Soave is just east of Verona in the region of Veneto. The Soave Castle and surrounding hillside vineyards are the central identifying characteristic or landmark in this wonderful wine country. The Soave Consortium put us up in the Hotel Roxie Plaza, a four-star hotel, recently renovated and conveniently located. It is according to all accounts where most tourists stay when visiting Soave. It is located within walking distance of the medieval walls built in the 13th century that form the city center. Inside these walls are many wine bars, gourmet restaurants and the Soave Castle, Castello Scaligero.
If you are a long-time wine drinker, you probably remember the days when Soave wine meant something very cheap in a 1.5 liter bottle, and it was very bad wine. Well, that has all changed in recent times. The Soave wines are excellent both in quality and in price. The main grape in Soave is Garganega. We visited a couple of wineries as well as stopping in to sample wines at several of the wine bars along the city center. These wines are crisp, refreshing, delightful and full of fruity flavors. The best Soave wines come from the steep hillside vineyards. They cost between $10 to $15 and are terrific values .
We took off from the hotel and drove directly to the hills above Soave. The roads are narrow and switchback among the vineyards. It is truly one of the most beautiful areas we have visited in all wine country. On a clear and beautiful day, the views are jaw dropping.
On the second morning of our stay, we took a 40-minute walk from the Hotel up to the beautiful Soave Castle. The Castle dates back to 1379. The views are once again incredible from the top sections of the castle. After our exhilarating walk it was time to stop at one of the many café’s and have our lunch and of course enjoy a glass of the delightful Soave wine.