Garganega is a white Italian wine grape widely grown in the Veneto region of North East Italy, particularly in the provinces of Verona and Vicenza. It is Italy's 5th most widely planted white grape. It forms the basis of Venetian white wine Soave DOCs - as well as the Soave Superiore DOCG - and is also a major part of the blend used to make Gambellara.
In the Soave region, Garganega is the primary grape and can compose anywhere from 70 to 100% of the blend with Trebbiano and Chardonnay being its usual blending partners. In the Classico zone of Soave, where yields are most often kept in check, the grape can produce a delicate wine with lemon, almond and spicy notes. Outside of Veneto, there are some plantings in the Umbria and Friuli wine regions. When grown in Sicily under the name Grecanico Dorato, it ripens late and can produce a wine with tangy acidity. The acid levels in Garganega lend itself well to the production of sweet recioto wines that have the potential to improve with bottle age for a decade and more.
The parents of Garganega have not been identified; the exact nature of the relationship between seven grape varieties that are spread from north to south Italy and Trebbiano Toscano, which indicates that Garganega is a key variety in the pedigree of white Italian grape varieties. Garganega reflects the environment and the manner in which it is grown. In cooler sites it exhibits flinty, apple-like 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 produce.
Further south in 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 a key component in Bianco di Custozaand Colli Euganei.