The region of Brescia encompasses the following denominated (DOC) wines: Botticino, Capriano del Colle, Cellatica, Garda, Garda Bresciano, Garda Classico, Franciacorta, Lugana, and San Martino della Battaglia. From this it is apparent that this region produces a large number of different types of wine so that it is impossible to describe them all. Below are some pointers for each denomination to make choosing a little easier.
This is a geographical area that has the village of this name at its epicentre. The vines grow on the rocky hills around Brescia on soil that is clay, marble, and chalk. The wines are made using Barbera, Marzemino, Sangiovese, and the many varieties of Schiava grapes. The Botticino wines are generally ruby red with hints of granite red, and are warm in bouquet and taste and extremely pleasing. Drinking temperature is 55.4-59°F (13- 15°C).
Because most Garda DOC wines are made in the province of Veneto, I described them there.
Riviera del Garda BrescianolGarda Bresciano DOC
This wine is only made on the Brescian side of Lake Garda and this DOC has existed for thirty years. The vineyards receive ample sun and moisture and the surroundings here are always green. The geology though is complex, without one definite soil type.
White, red, pale red, rose, and spumante wines are produced here under this DOC label. Garda Bresciano Bianco is made with Riesling Halico and/or Riesling Renano supplemented with up to 20% of other grapes. The wine is pale golden yellow tinged with green. The nose is aromatic and slightly herbal while the taste is soft on the palate and almost velvet, with a clear bitter note and hint of salt. Drinking temperature is 50-53.6°F (10- 12°C) .
Garda Bresciano Rosso is made with Gentile, Santo Stefano, Mocasina, Sangiovese, Marzemino, and Barbera. Single varietal wines can also be found but others contain two or more types of grape.
Consequently the range of possible taste for these wines run into thousands. A ruby red colouring and bitter note in the finish are characteristic of the area though. Drinking temperature is 53.6-60.8°F (12-16°C), depending on the individual type of wine.
Garda Bresciano Chiaretto is a pale red wine (claret, clarete, clairet), made using the same grapes as the Garda Bresciano Rosso. The colour is usually cherry red and the taste is normally very smooth and rounded with a bitter almond finish. Drink at 50-57.2°F (10- 14°C) .
Garda Bresciano Groppello is a ruby red wine made with Gentile, Groppellone, and varieties of roppello grapes. This too is fully flavoured, smooth and rounded, and has a pleasing bitter aftertaste.
|| The better wines are sold as Superiore. Drink at 53.6- 57.2°F (12- 14°C). The spumante rosato/ rose made with Groppello is a much rarer wine. This is deliciously full of flavour while remaining fresh tasting. Drinking temperature is 42.8- 55.0°F (6-10°C).