Soave is probably infamous for all the wrong reasons. Years ago it was renowned for producing neutral, boring, and even down right horrible wines. Even now, some of the cheapest white wines you’ll find in your local liquor store or supermarket are from Soave.
Soave is grown in the Veneto region in northeast Italy, principally around the city of Verona. It is one of 41 Italian Denominaziones di Origine Controllata e Garantita (DOCG) as of August, 2008. Garganega is the designation’s principal grape variety. Many of the producers are rather large co-operatives.
However, recently Soave has started to revive the potential it has always had. Some of the smaller producers are trying really hard to improve not only the image but the quality of Soave wines, sometimes with a little bit of help from Chardonnay. Also many vignerons such as Inama, Pieropan and Anselmi, are starting to move away from Pergola type trellising to more modern trellising systems, improving fruit quality and intensity of flavour and character.
Soave is normally produced without oak, and the the recent introduction of French oak by some producers has certainly helped bring Soave forward in leaps and bounds. You might be surprised if you start looking at Soave in a new light, really. I have.