The white and gold of Custoza

With the vast number of the wine regions in Italy, it comes as no surprise that you have probably not heard of Custoza DOC. While it has been a designated DOC since 1971, the quality of wine production has improved over recent years. And this seductive white wine was the focus of a seminar I attended during the Gambero Rosso Tre Bicchiere 2016 World Tour.

Custoza White and Gold

Custoza is a region in the Veneto, on the southeastern corner of Lake Garda. Located south of Bardolino, it is the white wine sibling to Bardolino’s red wine. The 4,000-5,000 hectares of vines are home to more than 700 small growers and approximately 70 producers. The total wine production is approximately one million cases per year.

The indigenous grapes that are grown in Custoza are garganega, trebbiano di soave, bianca fernanda (aka cortese), trebbianello (aka friulano), Riesling Italico (aka Welch riesling), malvasia and Incrocio Manzoni (a cross created in the 20th century).

These grapevines grow in soil that includes chalk, clay, limestone, sandstone and pebbles, which contribute to the complexity of the wine. When the white wine of Custoza is young, it is crisp, bright and fresh. When the wine ages, it turns a golden color and becomes savory and complex.

As we began tasting through the wines, aromas of citrus and flowers and bright acidity were a common theme in the young wines. One of the citrus aromas that continued to jump out at me was pineapple. As I made my way through the tasting, I could not help but associate each young wine to a pineapple at varying degrees of ripeness.

Read the complete story in the Napa Valley Register.