Garganega is a white wine grape varietal predominantly grown around Verona in the Veneto region of north-east Italy. Until recently is was one of Italy's most planted white varietals. It forms the basis of Venetian white wine Soave DOPs - as well as the Soave Superiore DOCG - and more recently being blended with Pinot Grigio.
In the Soave wine region, Garganega is the main varietal making up between 70 to 100% of blended wines with the usual suspects Trebbiano and Chardonnay. In the 'Classico' wine zone of Soave, where yields are controlled and kept low, the grape can produce a delicate wine with citrus, almond and dried herb notes. Across Italy, there are small plantings in the wine areas of Umbria and Friuli.

 

When grown on the island of Sicily it is locally known as Grecanico Dorato; here it ripens late and can produce a wine with lively, tangy acidity. Garganega's naturally high levels of acidity, lend itself well to the production of 'sweet recioto' wines that have the potential to improve with bottle age for a decade and more.
DNA testing has not yet clearly identified the genetic parents of Garganega; there is currency a relationship between 7 grape varietals that are spread from north to south of Italy - which possibly indicates that Garganega is a key varietal in the pedigree of several classic white Italian grape varietals.
Garganega reflects the environment and the manner in which it is grown. In cooler sites it exhibits flinty, green apple characteristics as well as good structure derived from its well-defined acidity. Warmer sites produce wines with a delicate expression, with citrus and stone-fruit flavours. However, all of these characteristics can be easily diluted if the vines are allowed to follow their natural inclination to over crop.
Further south in the region of Umbria, the hills of Colli Amerini and Colli Perugini are home to some Garganega vines whose grapes are used as a minor blending ingredient for dry white and sparkling (spumante) wines. Garganega is also plays a minor role in Bianco di Custoza DOP and Colli Euganei DOP wines.