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Native to the Veneto in north east Italy, Garganega is the dominant variety in the region’s most famous white wine, Soave. From the right site and when fully ripe, Garganega is undoubtedly one of Italy’s best native grape varieties. It is capable of producing wines of exceptional quality, but its reputation has been tarnished by the dilute wines produced from high yielding vines planted on the flatlands east of Verona. In the hands of quality-oriented producers such as Pieropan, Cantina di Monteforte and Alpha Zeta, who plant their Garganega on superior hillside sites, strictly control yields, and allow the grapes to ripen fully, this unsung variety is finally earning the respect it deserves. At its best, Garganega gives rich yet minerally wines of real class, with a waxy texture and flavours of almonds and an alluring delicate spiciness all balanced by its naturally steely acidity.