Custoza Wine from Veneto, Italy
Updated: May 13
Two types of Custoza Wines:
1- Custoza: the winery releases it as soon as it is ready so it is a fresh and easy to drink wine that you drink “young”.
2- Custoza Superiore: the winery releases it one year later so it is more complex and has ageing potential.
Vineyard from Monte del Fra Winery
The Ca’ del Magro Vineyard is over 30 years old and is around 7 hectares in size. It lies in the beautiful hills of Custoza, a small hamlet in the commune of Sommacampagna, situated southeast of Lake Garda. This area has an average altitude of 100-150 metres above sea level. The hills on which the vineyards are located are of glacial origin with limestone, clay, gravelly and sandy soils. Part of the vineyard is planted with old vines of noble indigenous varieties, using Veronese Pergola training and with very low yields of around 2 kg per vine. The remainder of the vineyard is planted with Guyot-trained Garganega vines, selected and propagated from historic clones.
The Cortese and Incrocio Manzoni grapes are harvested in mid- September whereas the Garganega and Trebbiano grapes are harvested during the first ten days of October.
Garganega grapes are fermented and matured “sur lie” (this means the grapes are fermented with the skin on for a few hours) in temperature-controlled stainless steel tanks. The wine is then put into bottles where it remains to mature for at least 6 months before being released for sale.
Monte del Fra Winery
This is a land which has been dedicated to agriculture over the last six centuries. The first written references concerning the work in the existing vineyards of Monte del Fra’ date back to 1492. The Friars (Fra’ in Venetian dialect) belong to the Order of Holy Mary of Scala di Verona.
The Bonomo family arrived in the mid twentieth century and bought this land from the monks. Year after year, harvest after harvest, those first parcels have become one of the most extended vineyards of Verona, with 168 chartered acres distributed in all the main denominations of
Verona: Valpollicella, Custoza, Lugana, Soave, and Bardolino.
During the past 60 years the vineyards have been in the hands of the Bonomo family. The second generation is represented by the two brothers, Eligio and Claudio and backed up by the third generation with Marica, Silvia and Massimo.
Together, the different generations of the Bonomo Family have been committed to the highest standards in order to create wines that show the true expression of
the Custoza region. This means that they use sustainable agriculture in order to fully complement the potential of the local grapes growing in this ideal terroir.
According to the most prominent international critics, the Bonomo vineyards are very well known with several of their vineyards being “crus” (of the highest quality).
Among Italy’s designation of the origin of white wines, Custoza, in the Veneto region of north eastern Italy, is unique because it is not characterized by a prevailing vine variety, but is based on a traditional blend of white grapes including local varieties of the garganega, trebbiano and Bianca Fernanda grapes, and also other white grapes that are grown in the area. All of these grapes make wonderful wines with refined aromatic complexity, which characterize them from other wines.
In particular, the fragrance of Custoza’s most famous grapes - garganega, trebbianello and Bianca Fernanda - recalls floral and fruity notes, sometimes accompanied by aromatic herbs and spicy aromas. In addition to the traditional Custoza wine, some producers also realize small quantities of Custoza Superiore, made from grapes of some local cru vineyards.
However, the essential characteristics of the Custoza wine are its freshness and its aromatic quality. This wine is refined and can easily match a variety of dishes.
In the heart of Custoza is a gravelly and rocky hill that faces southeast and receives many hours of sunshine. The vineyards on this hill are composed of old vines, accustomed to the challenge of nature which forces them to grow deep in the soil to find their nourishment. This is a fascinating, unique region, ideal for growing white grapes as the soil is abundant with minerals which promote resilience and longevity: the old vines continue to grow over sixty years with a low yield, but featuring character and style.