Soave: Wine and Castle

Before the popularity boom of Prosecco and Pinot Grigio, Soave was for a long time the most exported Italian white wine, appreciated for its softness, versatility and ease of food pairing. The production area of Soave Classico is located in the hilly region to the east of Verona around Soave, a wonderful medieval village surrounded by crenellated walls and dominated by an ancient Scala family castle, still in excellent condition and open to the public. The hills and valleys surrounding the castle are covered with vineyards as far as the eye can see, an ideal destination for a trip to discover the wine, gastronomy and history of Soave.

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The Wine

Soave is mainly produced with Garganega, an autochthonous vine that is part of the blend of many wines from Verona and Vicenza. Other grapes that can be used for this DOCG wine are Trebbiano di Soave and Chardonnay, although more and more wineries are using 100% Garganega. The soil composed of tuff, basalt of volcanic origin and limestone becomes an ideal terroir for the production of a wine with good acidity and concentration, delicately scented and with hints of almond. Soave has great versatility, ideal with fish, sea and lake fish dishes, pasta with a light sauce, risottos, white meats, asparagus and local cold cuts such as Soppressa. In the bars of Verona it is one of the most popular aperitif wines. In addition to Soave, the area also produces a sweet wine made from dried grapes, Recioto di Soave, ideal with dry desserts but also with mature and blue cheeses like Gorgonzola. There are many wineries, both within the medieval village, and in the surrounding hills, where you can make visits and tastings.


Many still believe that it is the wine, with its suave ("soave" in Italian) qualities, that has given the name to the village. In reality, is true the opposite. On the hill where today stands the Scala family castle, in Roman times there was a fortress or watchtower, in a strategic elevated position above the course of the Via Postumia, the important communication route between the north-east and north-west of the peninsula along which many cities developed, including Verona. With the end of the Roman Empire and the barbarian invasions, the hill and the village became an outpost of a Germanic tribe among the many that made up the heterogeneous barbarian population: the Suevi, from which would derive the current name of the village that then transferred the name to its most famous product: the wine Soave.

The Castle

The castle of Soave dates back to the Scala family age, the period between the middle of the 13th century and the end of the 14th century when the Scala family ruled over Verona and the surrounding territory. To control their possessions, the Scaligeri built numerous castles and fortresses entrusted to loyal captains who commanded local garrisons. It was Cansignorio della Scala, the last of the great lords of della Scala, who restored the castle and extended the walls to the entire village. After a long period of abandonment, the castle of Soave was restored at the end of 1800s and is still open to the public and can be visited. The castle is a typical example of a medieval fortress, with high crenellated walls, towers, inner courtyards and a high central keep. In the only surviving building among those that were inside, there is a sort of small museum with the reconstruction of furniture, frescoes, armor and paintings of the period. If you do not suffer from vertigo, you can also safely access the battlements and the top of the keep from which you can enjoy a breathtaking view of the surrounding hills and valley.

Itineraries in the Cellar with Tasting

A visit with tasting of the Soave wineries, numerous both in the narrow alleys of the village and in the surrounding hills, can be combined with a tour of the castle and the medieval village. The wine producing activity of Soave is very varied and it is possible to visit both large production complexes where millions of bottles are made per year and small family businesses where the wine is still produced with the meticulous and careful passion of the past.

For any further information on wine and food tasting itineraries, guided tours of the cellars of Verona or to plan your tour with the guides of Verona send us an email.