Lake Garda for wine lovers

Lake Garda travel
Lake Garda

Writers have sung praises of its beauty for centuries, including D.H. Lawrence, who shared his encounters in Twilight in Italy, “The lake lies dim and milky, the mountains are dark blue at the back, while over them the sky gushes and glistens with light.”

Lake Garda’s charming character is inescapable by its medieval castles, quaint lakeside villages, and crystal blue waters. Surrounded by three regions – Veneto’s rolling hills, Trentino-Alto Adige’s alpine mountains and fertile plains of Lombardy – Lake Garda is also the northernmost Mediterranean climate in Europe, where the sun-soaked area is tempered with predictable afternoon breezes. The landscape is verdant with lemon and olive groves, and vineyards that provide quaffable enjoyment made from grapes that are grown on morainic soils left from the glaciers that carved the lake millions of years ago.

The wines

Vineyards of Lake Garda offer some of the country’s most classic wines. Bardolino, the area’s famous light red wine, as well as light and refreshing Chiaretto rosatos. Lugana DOC straddles both Lombardy and Veneto on the southern shore of the lake, producing wines made mostly with Turbiana (Trebbiano di Lugana), a biotype of Verdicchio.

The easy-drinking white Custoza is typically blended from nine allowable grapes, among them, Garganega, Fernanda (Coretese) and Trebbiano di Toscano. On the western shores Valtenesi is driven by the indigenous Groppello grape(s).

International varieties such as Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon are also found along the lake region as they have taken fertile residence for centuries. Garda DOC is a relatively new term since 2017 which refers to sparkling wines of Lake Garda. They are made in either Metodo Classico and/or Martinotti methods offering refreshing and clean bubbles that pair effortlessly with the lake’s conviviality and Mediterranean climate.

Wineries to visit

Azienda Agricola Pratello

The 1860s farm is run by the Bertola family and is located one kilometer from the lake along the southwestern shores in Padenghe. Pratello primarily produces Lugana, and Valtenesi, Chiaretto di Valtenesi, as well as a Metodo Classico Garda DOC which spends five years on lees. Pratello is also an agriturismo, where most of the gastronomic experiences, including their extra virgin olive oil, come from the farm and nearby producers. Alpacas, chickens, donkeys and ducks live among the meadows and olive groves. Accommodation is charming and comfortable, with amenities that include dining, swimming, and a natural pond for soaking into deeper bliss.

Azienda Agricola Ricchi

In the scenic landscape of the morainic hills, just south of Lake Garda in Monzambano, Ricchi, the family-run winery invites guests to taste a host of wines, ranging from Garda DOC Chardonnay, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc, as well as Lugana, international red blends made from partially raisinated grapes, sparkling wines and grappa. Ricchi also produces olive oil made from the hills of the Mantua region.

Azienda Agricola Cavalchina

Cavalchina pioneered the use of the name ‘Custoza’ in the early 1960s for the white wine grown in Custoza. Arrange a tasting visit to Cavalchina’s second story tasting room that overlooks the picturesque vineyards where Garganega, Fernanda and other varieties grow. In addition to Custoza, owners and brothers Luciano and Franco Piona also produce a number of wines from the lake region, including Bardolino, Chiaretto and the sparkling Cuvée Maison, a blend of Chardonnay, Pinot Bianco and Corvina. This Metodo Classico Garda DOC enjoys 12 months on lees to produce a creamy, dry, herbal spumante with a touch of refreshing salinity.


Costaripa is a family-run winery located in western shores of the lake in Valtenesi owned by winemaker Mattia Vezzola, who is passionate about maximizing the potential of indigenous grapes such as Groppello and Marzemino. A visit to the tasting room allows guests to…

Source :