In the Custoza village, a lesser-known but fantastic region of Italy lies some fantastic wineries! I had the pleasure in December to visit the Lake Garda area of Italy for a fantastic week of wines. We explored the delightful world of Chiaretto, a rosé this region is famous for, as well as Bardolino wines.  It was a gorgeous week, and I learned so much about the wines from this area which are fruit-forward, and filled with minerality from the lake and coastal influence.

One of my favorite wineries we visited is Cantina Gorgo! Established in 1973, this winery started with 22 hectares and now has grown to over 50 hectares of organic certified wines. This is very important not only to the production of wine but to the land which is rich with moranic soils. The wines of Gorgo are absolutely stunning and will win your heart as well as your palate. Roberta Bricolo is the daughter and running the winery with her father Roberto. She is a wonderful hostess and really inspired her parents to switch the vineyards and get the organic certifications because she knew how important it was to the life of the vines as well as the wine production.

The property is stunning, complete with old-world tasting rooms, gorgeous vineyards, and true Italian charm! We sat down to taste some of the wines from the Classic Line including the Custoza D.O.C., Bardolino Chiaretto D.O.C, and Bardolino D.O.C. These three wines from the classic line were my favorite because the Custoza is a white blend and I am always impressed with Italian white blends. This was my first one from the area, as it was my first time in the Garda region, but this wine has a wonderful blend of Italian varietals and is elegant, delicious, and very refreshing.

Once we tasted the Superior Line of wines, I knew this was a winery that stands out among the rest. Roberta has an eye for detail, and the wines of Gorgo are just perfect. Some of my favorites from this line were the Cà Nova I.G.T. Veronese, Bardolino Superiore D.O.C.G. Podere Monte Maggiore, and the Custoza Superiore D.O.C.
Summa! These wines are intense and elegant, especially the Cà Nova, made from the Corvina Veronese grape, which does really well in this region. This red is fresh and fruity with nice cherries, plums, and spice notes. On the palate, it’s elegant and smooth with a long finish.

Typically from this region, the Chiaretto Rosés are always fresh and fruity, with nice strawberry and ripe fruit notes. On the palate, these wines have lively acidity, as well as captivating aromas. I think while visiting this region I tasted over 100 Chiaretto’s and about 80 Bardolino’s, all of which had similarities from the region, but very big differences as well. The Bardolino’s from this region are medium to full-bodied reds that are ideal for summer and fall!

If you’re seeking some new Italian wines to taste, look no further than the Lake Garda area! Bardolino is a region you will not only want to visit for the exquisite food but for the lovely wines as well.